‘The Turnout’ – Megan Abbott

The Turnout is a story that explores the darkness under the surface of what looks beautiful. I am still uncertain to what extent we are meant to see this as symbolic of the relationship between our three main characters, but it certainly offered pause for thought.

The main focus of the story is sisters Dara and Marie, brought up in the ballet world and surrounded by traditions. They now run the same ballet school their mother ran, and each year they perform The Nutcracker. Our story takes place over a short period of time building up to the annual performance, but it focuses on so much more.

Dara is married to Charlie, their childhood friend. As the story progresses we learn more of their past and some of the circumstances surrounding them. I was struck by the darkness of their home environment, and how this had impacted on them.

Ballet will not be everyone’s thing, but the story surrounding Derek and the fragmenting of the relationship between the characters was intriguing. I found myself more interested in the stories alluded to on occasion, and was rather surprised at the turns taken in some situations.

Thanks to NetGalley for granting me access to this before publication in exchange for my thoughts.