“The Turnout is a deliciously uncomfortable story, from the brutality imposed on dancers’ bodies to the uneasy dynamics of sisterly relationships and the tension when someone new intrudes on their domain.”
— Lexi Beach, The Astoria Bookshop, Astoria, NY
Bestselling and award-winning author Megan Abbott's revelatory, mesmerizing, and game-changing new novel set against the hothouse of a family-run ballet studio, and an interloper who arrives to bring down the carefully crafted Eden-like facade.
Ballet flows through their veins. Dara and Marie Durant were dancers since birth, with their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, homeschooled and trained by their mother. Decades later the Durant School of Dance is theirs. The two sisters, together with Charlie, Dara's husband and once their mother's prize student, inherited the school after their parents died in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago. Marie, warm and soft, teaches the younger students; Dara, with her precision, trains the older ones; and Charlie, back broken after years of injuries, rules over the back office. Circling around each other, 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 delicate balance of everything they've worked for.
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.
About the Author
MEGAN ABBOTT is the award-winning author of nine 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. She lives in New York City.