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.
About the Author
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, TheWall 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.
One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021: TIME • Seattle Times • Goodreads • Lit Hub• Publishers Weekly • BookPage • CrimeRead • Book Riot's "Read or Dead" Podcast • Booktrib • SheReads
“Abbott is not only a suspense author at the top of her game, she’s also a scholar, and The Turnout promises to be both homage to classic tropes and visionary model for their evolution.” –LitHub
“At once engaging and unnerving.” –Reader’s Digest
“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)
“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
"One of the most well-known and acclaimed thriller writers working today is back with a twisted tale of fraying ties at a family-run ballet studio." –BookPage
“There’s no one who captures the atmosphere of a tight-knit hothouse world, in all its feverish beauty and brutality, quite like Megan Abbott.” –Tana French, author of The Searcher
"All one needs to know about a Megan Abbott book is that it's a Megan Abbott book -- dreamy, sexy, a deep dive into a subculture that has been exhaustively researched. The Turnout is all those things and more, taking you so far into the world of a small ballet school that you feel the characters' aches and pains in your joints, your feet, and, most dangerous of all, your heart." –Laura Lippman, author of Lady in the Lake
“There is not a writer alive who is better at investigating the tension and threat of violence at the center of women’s lives than Megan Abbott. Megan goes into the heart of female spaces and finds the ugly in all that pretty, the dark in all that light, with breath-taking suspense. The Turnout has notes of James M. Cain and Alfred Hitchcock, but it’s better because it’s so fresh and unexpected, so wholly revelatory. I turned page after page, holding my breath in fear, and also excitement, about what might happen in this run-down ballet school, what blood red might be lurking behind all that pink. This is Megan Abbott working at the absolute height of her talent.” –Attica Locke, author of Bluebird, Bluebird and Heaven, My Home
“Megan Abbott is a master of atmosphere, and she captures the Durant School of Ballet—a tinderbox of promise and perfectionism, innuendo and fierce desire, of tension twisted to a breaking point—in all its merciless extravagance. The Turnout is a bewitching climb up a spiral staircase into the inner sanctum of the Durant family, a house of mirrors in which nothing is exactly what it seems. This novel pounds with blood and grips you in its teeth: Megan Abbott is unafraid as ever of the darkness that makes us human.” –Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists