The Turnout by Megan Abbott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When their ballet studio catches fire one night, Dara, Marie, and Charlie invite a contractor into their lives but he's clearly after more than just another job...
I've been out of the novel loop for a few years but I took advantage of a 2.99 sale on this a while back and I finally had time to read it.
Like I've said before, I enjoy all of Megan Abbott's books but the ones that hit the hardest are the ones about the secret lives of women. This one, about the dark underside of ballet, is firmly in that vein.
Dara and Marie are intensely close sisters, former ballet stars who trained under their ballerina mother. Charlie, Dara's husband, is a now broken down ballet dancer their mother took in when they were all teens. When a contractor threatens the close bond between the three, the train to hell leaves the station.
Even more than most of Megan Abbott's books, The Turnout almost feels like a Jim Thompson book. The inevitable trainwreck is coming and you have to grab on to something and hope you survive the crash and the aftermath. And what an aftermath it is!
I didn't understand teenage girls when I was a teenager and now I'm kind of terrified of them. The Megster shows us the horrible lives ballet dancers lead, from eating cotton balls soaked in ranch dressing instead of actual food to keep their weight down to hiding razor blades in each others' shoes. It was apparent that Dara, Marie, and Charlie were keeping some dark secrets from the beginning but I didn't think they'd bubble up the way they did.
That's about all I want to say. Five out of five stars.
View all my reviews