Written and Media by Andrea Martin.
American’s favorite cringe-invoking author is back at it, but this time she has decided to tackle ghost stories.
Gillian Flynn’s newest short story, “The Grownup,” hit shelves on Nov. 3 after being released as “What Do You Do?” in George R.R. Martin’s Rogues anthology. A summary of the 64-page short story goes as this:
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.
For those unfamiliar with Flynn’s work, one need not look further than “Gone Girl,”(2012) which told of the unraveling marriage between Nick and Amy Dunne. The story solidified Flynn as one of America’s most prominent writers, evoking fear, a strong feminist manifesto in the bewildering character Amy and an unpredictable story, leaving readers wanting more.
David Fincher directed a film adaptation of the book, which released in 2014 starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike respectively. Pike received an Oscar nod for her dominant portrayal as Amy, bringing to life the female character who sought revenge upon her husband and her failing marriage.
Flynn is known for her dynamic female characters consisting of violent and destructive demeanors but was asked by her favorite writer, George R.R. Martin, to take the task of writing a small ghost story. Once again, Flynn has received much acclaim for “The Grownup,” which plays upon the fear and anxieties of its readers. Flynn’s characters pull readers in and trap them in a state of empathy, leaving them nawing at their nails waiting for the first sign of disturbance. From there, Flynn doesn’t hold back any punches and creates a frenzy of emotions, which leave pure destruction and agony in their wake.
View more of Flynn’s work along with accolades and updates regarding her future works at her website.