The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The Grownup

The Grownup


Published: 17 June 2014

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 1474603041

After a career giving hand jobs to anonymous men 8 hours a day, a young woman finds herself as a fake psychic; mostly just telling people what they want to hear. Until one day a new client walks in. Convinced that her new Victorian house is haunted by a malevolent spirit, Susan Burke has come to Spiritual Palms for answers. Even more concerning to Susan, the spirit seems to be affecting her stepson. The psychic sees this as her big break — “cleansing” the homes of rich deluded women. However, upon first stepping into the mysterious Carterhook Manor, the narrator begins to feel something too. It’s as if the house is watching her. Waiting. 


Anybody familiar with Gillian Flynn’s other work will know what to expect when picking up The Grownup. Written in first-person, the narrator is a nameless woman working in the soft-core sex industry. The Grownup started with a bang, and I was excited to see what was in store.

“I didn’t stop giving hand jobs because I wasn’t good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.”

– Gillian Flynn, The Grownup

The narrator is a woman working at Spiritual Palms, where hand jobs happen out the back and questionable psychic readings happen out the front. After being diagnosed with carpal tunnel, the narrator moves to the front where her new job is reading palms. I enjoyed learning about the narrator’s history and just how she got to working at Spiritual Palms. I thought that things were going to get even more interesting when we meet her unsuspecting client Susan Burke. Unfortunately, I felt that things went a little downhill from there.

Flynn is amazing at writing characters, and she also makes a solid attempt at telling a conventional ghost story. Haunted Victorian house + creepy kid + anxious and suspicious parent = ghost story! What made the story readable was the fascinating characters. Unfortunately, the characters weren’t enough for me to bump up the star rating.

I felt that the twists and turns toward the end were too abrupt and some could have been omitted, although I ultimately liked the final ending. For a 67-page book, I shouldn’t really hope that the ending came sooner! It must be difficult to follow-up from an insanely popular (and twisty) novel like Gone Girl. I loved Gone Girl and it’s definitely one of my all-time favourite books, so I’m kind of saddened to say that I didn’t really like this one. A quick read coming in at 67 pages, if it appeals to you definitely still give it a go.

“Books may be temporary; dicks are forever.”

– Gillian Flynn, The Grownup

Why Read This Book?

  • Female narrator
  • Twists
  • Award winner
  • Quick read

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