AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Publication Date: August 3, 2021
Format: Audio
Genre:  Psychological thriller
Narrators: Cassandra Campbell

Publisher: Penguin Audio
 11 hours 40 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


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.


There is so much going on in this book that you can feel it as the tension ramps up to the annual performance of The Nutcracker. 

Marie and Dara have taken over their parents dance studio after their parents deaths.  Dara is married to Charlie who was once a dancer but after a bad accident has been left with crippling pain and no longer able to do the thing he loved.  Charlie grew up with Marie and Dara living with them for as long as they can remember.  It's strange that Charlie then wound up marrying Dara and their marriage seems very off.  Actually the whole relationship between the three of them is odd. 

When a fire and a disreputable contractor turn their studio upside down their lives also are set on edge.  As one of the most competitive and glorious nights of the ballet creeps up on them all.  As the contractor seems to drag the project out driving a wedge between the sisters and stirring up trouble things keep taking a darker turn.  When things finally come to a head it is a twist I didn't entirely see coming.  

This is a dark book set against the grueling and intense life of ballet.  Beautiful on the outside but brutal to the body and soul crushing for many. 

I loved how the tensions build and build throughout this book and the ending was indeed a surprise I was not expecting. 

Click on the 3 lines at the top of the blog to view my sidebar where you can follow me on facebook, bloglovin, and amazon