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The Turnout (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Bestselling and award-winning author Megan Abbott’s revelatory and mesmerizing new novel 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.
Megan Abbott is the award-winning author of ten novels, including Give Me Your Hand, You Will Know Me, The Fever, Dare Me, and The End of Everything. She received her PhD in literature from New York University. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Guardian, and The Believer. She is the co-creator and executive producer of USA’s adaptation of Dare Me and was a staff writer on HBO’s David Simon show, The Deuce. Abbott lives in New York City.
Ivy Pochoda is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Wonder Valley, Visitation Street and most recently These Women which was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, The Edgar Award, the California Book Award and others. Wonder Valley won the 2018 Strand Critics Award for Best Novel and was a finalist Los Angeles Times Book Prize and France’s Le Grand Prix de Litterature Americaine. Visitation Street won the Prix Page America in France. Her books have been translated into five languages. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times & The Los Angeles Review of Books. She teaches creative writing at the Studio 526 Skid Row.
Praise for The Turnout:
“Abbott—so good at plucking the dark and twisted strands of female friendships and rivalries in books like You Will Know Me and Give Me Your Hand—fashions her unsettling new novel around a ballet academy run by three high-strung former dancers, two of them sisters.” –The New York Times
“Abbott is a legend for good reason. No one combines the style of classic noir with the psyches of sophisticated men and women who are willing to do anything—anything—to succeed better than Abbott. Her latest is a dizzyingly fascinating story of a family-owned dance studio and the weight of unrequited ambition. An instant classic.” –Washington Post
“Abbott casts her disquieting fictional magic as the obsessive dynamics of a self-contained family—sisters Dara and Marie, and Dara’s husband, Charlie—running a small-town, run-down ballet school, collide with the presence of a sinister newcomer.” –The Boston Globe
“This is a deliciously creepy thriller about competition and family ties.” –Real Simple
“There’s no one better than Abbott at exploring issues of femininity and power struggles, and getting at the visceral heart of both. Fans of Black Swan and The Red Shoes are bound to be obsessed.” –Refinery29
“The Turnout unfolds like a dark fairy tale, unpacking the rigid demands of femininity. Abbott fans and suspense lovers alike won’t be disappointed with this exploration of human frailty and twisted love.” –LitHub
“At once engaging and unnerving.” –Reader’s Digest
“Gut-punching noir…Abbott is pitch-perfect at making the sisters’ complex dynamic and mix of emotions plausible and painful, while capturing the competitiveness and cruelty of children’s ballet, where every young girl wishes to be the center of attention. This look at the darker side of the dance world demonstrates why Abbott has few peers at crafting moving stories of secrets and broken lives.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Abbott has a top-notch ability to reveal the dark undercurrents of women’s relationships and sexuality. Her taut, unsettling writing creates tension through the slightest actions and phrases, and keeps the pages turning. This is clever, chilling psychological suspense at its best.” –Library Journal (starred review)
“Abbott brilliantly explores the psychosexual undercurrents throbbing throughout this haunting novel, from the dancers’ pointe shoes…through even the Nutcracker itself.” –Booklist (starred review)
“The mesmerizing prose will keep you turning the pages. Abbott is a master of thinly veiled secrets often kept by women who rage underneath their delicate exteriors.” –Kirkus Reviews