Book Review: The Turnout – Megan Abbott

Book Review: The Turnout – Megan Abbott

Release Date:
August 3rd 2021
Publisher: Virago Press
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 3.5/5 stars


After the sudden death of their parents, the Durant sisters, Dara and Marie, inherit a ballet school and take over running it with Dara’s husband Charlie. The sisters’ connection is intense, forged by a glamorous but troubled family history.

But after they hire Derek, a charismatic, possibly shady contractor to renovate the studio, Marie throws herself into an intense affair with him that threatens their tight bonds and brings forward family secrets until an act of violence overturns everything.


The Turnout is one of those stories that completely captivates you and you continue to think about long after reading. The story follows sisters Dara and Marie who take over the running of their mother’s ballet school after the sudden death of their parents in a car accident. Alongside Dara’s husband Charlie, the three work to ensure the running of the infamous ballet studio. When they hire a contractor to renovate the studio, Marie falls into a relationship with him. As Marie spends more and more time with Derek the dynamics of the studio begin to change and long-buried family secrets slowly come to life.

This book was completely unlike anything I’ve read before. It was such a dark story, with a really tense, unsettling atmosphere that continued to build as the story progressed. This is my first book by Megan Abbott and it completely captured my attention. It was a well-executed story, with twists and turns I absolutely did not see coming. The story also really highlights the brutal things that the dancers put their bodies through and the intense rivalry between the dancers.

One of the most intriguing things about this book is the dynamics and the focus on the sister dynamics. The characters very much felt like real people and the way their relationship changed was really fascinating to see as the story unfolded. There were some quite shocking moments in the story that I didn’t expect. It is a dark and gritty read, one that will keep you hooked right until the very last page. If you’re looking for a compelling psychological thriller that will have you turning pages long into the night, The Turnout should definitely be on your to be read pile.

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