My first thought after I read The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn was that this is one of those rare books with a title that is appropriate for what is in it. It’s true, on two levels. The first is, the book (at least the first few pages of the book) are well-suited for adult readers – for the grownups, really.
Secondly, the book is about a game of mental tug-of-war between a child and a gown up. And seeing as how the book is from a grown up’s perspective, and how well (or badly) she copes with it (I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether she was taken for a ride or not).
The Grown Up is an unusual read. After my almost disastrous experience with Gone Girl, I kind of was not sure if I was ready for another book by the same author. But then the fact that my friend over at The Lucky Teapot, had a copy of the book, was willing to share, and recommended the book quite highly, felt like a good omen.
Add to this equation, the fact that the book is a mere 96 pages long, and I was alright with picking it up. Saying that the book is a fast read is an understatement. It took me all of an hour and a half to finish it. I got through it on my commute to and from work.
What stood out most strongly for me in the book is the fact that it starts with a bang. Without an apology. It just takes you and plonks you right in the middle of a transition in the narrator’s life. And in a story as short as this, the author could have taken the liberty to throw around a few details here and there about her trade (former and present), and leave you believing that there will be some connect to it later. And leave you waiting even after the book is over. Not here (at least, not that I remember). Gillian Flynn uses her words and pages sparingly.
The details she gets into, have a purpose. They have a connect. And I like stories like this that are neatly tied up and handed over, without any lose ends. In the Grown Up, Flynn reveals a small instance of a tussle between the psyche of a grownup and a teenager.
Who among the two calls the shots? Who among the two makes the grown up decisions? Who among the two has the smarts to live like a grown up? You can make your decision at the end of the 96th page. I made mine with great difficulty.