The Turnout by Megan Abbott – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

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 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. The three have perfected a dance 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 their delicate balance.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. As soon as I heard about this book I wanted to read it. I used to do ballet when I was at school so was familiar with The Nutcracker, ballet classes and the excitement of being part of a performance. I was also aware, but never experienced it, the pain, wrecked bodies and jealousy from other dancers. 

Ballet does form a large part of this novel. The way that dance takes over every part of your life if you are that dedicated. Some may find this baffling but I found it believable. Every minute of Dara’s life was taken by ballet classes, preparing for the show and guiding her students through rehearsals, bullying and trying to maintain her belief that she couldn’t touch her students. Marie, her sister, wasn’t as strict with herself, but she had other concerns.

This was a novel that left me with conflicting feelings. I had a lot of sympathy for Dara, but at times thought she seemed a cold person. I felt that she didn’t seem close to anybody, even her husband and sister. It was all about ballet.

Marie was a person I Initially disliked but especially in the latter part of the novel I had a lot more understanding and liking for her. I think after finishing she was the stronger and more likeable person.

I hated Derek with a passion, everything about him made me cringe. Even though he was only in the book and not in my world I felt intimidated at every appearance. The complete opposite to Bailey, who was my favourite. A lesser character but I loved her determination and her passion. 

This is a very entertaining but sinister novel. I had no idea which way it would go but it worked perfectly.

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