The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn

I don’t often read short stories but I was gifted this as part of a Christmas gift exchange, and a book under 100 pages was a requirement for one of the prompts in the Bookstagrammer Globe Challenge on Storygraph. I also really liked Gone Girl when I read it many years ago so was looking forward to another Gillian Flynn story.

The Grown Up tells the story of a young woman; who’s name we never find out, who had a rough upbringing and as a lot of people finds herself stuck in a cycle like her Mom. She works in a ‘psychic parlour’ giving hand jobs to men for money. She knows it isn’t a great job but it turns out she’s good at it and feels comfortable that she never lets it go any further. However, when she starts to experience pains in her wrist/arm she worries that her career is over, until her friendly boss suggests that maybe she has a psychic ability and could help with the front of house readings.

She gets a strange client in one day; called Susan, who; although she acts as if she doesn’t believe anything she is being told, comes back time and time again. Eventually Susan asks for the woman’s help with her stepson who is very troubled, Susan believes that if she can heal the house she could help heal the family. The sex worker sees it as a great way to earn some good money and also potentially start her own business if she can get a good reputation.

It is very strangely written and the narrator is very unreliable; how do you trust a sex worker, ex thief and conwoman? It seemed as if there was a very clever twist near the end when Susan’s stepson ‘reveals the truth.’ However, there is then a further twist and I finished the book feeling like it was unresolved and I had a lot of questions left.

For that reason I’ve only given it 2/5 stars.

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