Best Book of the Year
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Longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize A TODAY Show #ReadWithJenna Book Club PickAn Instant New York Times Bestseller
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Megan Abbott's exquisite and disquieting new novel, “dark and juicy and tinged with horror” (The New York Times Books Review), set against the hothouse of a family-run ballet studio.
With their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, Dara and Marie Durant have been dancers since they can remember. Growing up, they were homeschooled and trained by their glamorous mother, founder of the Durant School of Dance. After their parents' death in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago, the sisters began running the school together, along with Charlie, Dara's husband and once their mother's prized student.
Marie, warm and soft, teaches the younger students; Dara, with her precision, trains the older ones; and Charlie, sidelined from dancing after years of injuries, rules over the back office. Circling around one another, the three have perfected a dance, six days a week, that keeps the studio thriving. But when a suspicious accident occurs, just at the onset of the school's annual performance of The Nutcracker—a season of competition, anxiety, and exhilaration—an interloper arrives and threatens the sisters' delicate balance.
Taut and unnerving, The Turnout is Megan Abbott at the height of her game. With uncanny insight and hypnotic writing, it is a sharp and strange dissection of family ties and sexuality, femininity and power, and a tale that is both alarming and irresistible.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The world of ballet turns sinister in this taut chiller about tradition, family, and dark secrets. Trained since childhood to be dancers, Dara and her sister, Marie, now teach at the ballet school that their late mother founded. When a fire damages the institution, a contractor offers to build the school of their dreams, but his meddling soon threatens to tear their ballet studio—and family—to pieces. Megan Abbott has always loaded her roiling thrillers (Dare Me, You Will Know Me) with realistic characters and keen insights into personal relationships…especially between women. This one is no exception—Abbott really puts us through our pirouettes with vivid details about the Durant School of Dance and its students’ grueling lives. That gritty realism fills each chapter with a delightful amount of dread, and Cassandra Campbell’s nimble narration helps build the tension as hidden truths are brought to light. Even if you’ve never dreamed of wearing a leotard, The Turnout is a great, creepy listen.