Mature Manipulation

 

Opening lines. They can either make or break a writer’s attempt to catch a reader’s attention. Gillian Flynn’s The Grownup has a strong opening line that will have you curious to read on.

Trying to get by in the world with the skills she has and the only way she knows how, a “psychic” woman winds up meeting with Susan Burke as she gives one of her  consultations. Susan’s old Victorian home is supposedly haunted, and her stepson Miles’s behavior, seemingly exacerbated by the house, has Susan rather scared for her life. As the “psychic” visits the home to better gauge the situation and cleanse it, the tale of who is actually in danger evolves, leading readers through the manipulation prominent throughout the tale.

The story plays along with the now-familiar psychological and questionable narrator lines we know from Gone Girl. Full of gritty, honest, and mostly realistic prose, it’s akin to what we’ve seen sensationalized on TV crime shows, making it easily relatable, but also a bit predictable. This is a rather well-developed novella that quickly and adequately builds to the somewhat dramatic reveal ending. I am quite impressed with the high production value on the book itself, even if the story didn’t thoroughly “wow” me.

Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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