The Grownup by Gillian Flynn


The Edgar award winning short story “The Grownup” by Gillian Flynn originally appeared as “What Do You Do?” in George R. R. Martin’s “Rogues” anthology in 2014, and it was recently published as a standalone.

The Narrator

The narrator (whose name we never learn) is a woman just over 30, who loves books, particularly horror stories. As a child she and her lazy mom begged for cash and now she is administering hand jobs in the back of a fortuneteller’s office with the clever name Spiritual Palms, but because of an injured wrist she moves into the front office and starts working as a medium instead.

Haunted House

There she meets the client Susan Burke, a rich, disheveled woman who believes her Victorian house is haunted. The narrator offers to cleanse the aura of the house to make some easy money. However, she quickly realizes something is very wrong, but is the house or family to blame? As expected in anything written by Flynn things are not as they first seem and the story takes many twisted turns.

Creepy, Twisted and Dysfunctional

If you have read any of Gillian Flynn’s novels: Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, or Dark Places, you know that she is a master of creating creepy and twisted plots with dysfunctional characters. This eerie short story is no different. It leaves you wanting more and I feel the story could have been fleshed out to a novel and I also think it is movie-adaptation worthy. If you liked Flynn’s novels you won’t be disappointed!

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