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.
"Abbott's novels are often described as crime fiction, and, while indeed she works with mystery and suspense and draws on noir and Gothic tropes, her goal seems less to construct intricate, double-crossing plot problems than to explore the dark side of femininity....In other words, Megan Abbott is a mood." - The New York Times Book Review
"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 is a master of atmosphere, and in the blood, sweat, tears, bruises, ripped toenails, broken bones, rivalries, desires, and tutu-pink dreams that fill the studio during its annual production of The Nutcracker, she creates a world of almost unbearable tension, pirouetting ever further into darkness." - Entertainment Weekly
"Pulsing with suspense." - People
"[A] beautifully accomplished thriller...From the first page to the reveal at the end, a palpable sense of menace and the sympathy we feel for Dara as her world unravels make it impossible to look away." - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"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
"While undoubtedly one of our best crime novelists, Abbott has also always struck me as akin to an anthropologist....In The Turnout, Abbott delves into the rarified world of ballerinas, astutely noting the symbols and signals underlying the romantic image." - The Paris Review
"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
"Mines the creepy underside of ballet...Abbott takes her breathless reader to some very dark places, but also to beauty." - Seattle Times
"[A] taut, suspenseful novel that's anxiety provoking in the best way."c-cVogue
"An excavation of the dark sides of family and femininity." -cElle
"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 is an intriguing crime novel about family, power, and sexuality." - The A.V. Club
"Abbott's prose is dazzlingly precise and her portrayal of student rivalries razor-sharp in this taut and psychologically gripping novel." - The Guardian