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The Turnout By Megan Abbott

The Turnout‘The Turnout’ is the latest book by Megan Abbott.

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.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book by Megan Abbott, the last book was ‘The Fever’ and I remember that book was particularly addictive and this latest offering is no different.

The story is seen through the perspective of Dara Durant, the eldest sister to Marie and wife to Charlie. The 3 of them run The Durant School of Ballet and are busy preparing for the production of ‘The Nutcracker’. But when a fire at the studio brings Derek into their lives, he upsets the balances of trio and Dara questions his motives.

Right from the offset, this book is a bleak and compelling story that immediately grabbed my attention and pulled me into the dark and complicated world of the Durant sisters.

Megan has a skill of creating an unsettling world and the further that the story progresses, it gets more unsettling and the hairs on your arms stands on edge and there’s a chill in the room.

Dara is a complex character, she’s the eldest and more domineering of the two sisters and Marie has always been the compliant, meek one until Derek, with his robust and large personality ignites a sexual desire and curiosity in Marie. Dara is stressed with preparing for the ballet production, the bullying between the young performers, Charlie’s ongoing aches and pains and Marie’s new obsession with Derek. She comes across as a cold character and whereas Marie has a kinder more approachable attitude and her interactions with the tiny performers make for sweet reading. She’s dependent on Dara, but is wanting to do her own thing and thinks that Derek is her salvation.

The interactions between Dara and Derek make for fascinating reading, as more issues arise with the refurbishment of the studio and he tries to reassure with his charming personality, Dara fails to warm to him and is suspicious of him right from the start.

The story also features in the past and present tense, as Dara reflects on her childhood, the tension between her parents as well as the flawed relationship that has impacted on her life more than she has realised.

A dark story that oozed tension and made for twisted reading. ‘The Turnout’ is another cleverly crafted story from Megan, beautifully written and fantastically descriptive this chilling book with its dramatic ending takes the reader to unspeakable places with its deeply rooted family secrets and lies.

You can buy ‘The Turnout’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Three Little Words by Jessica Thompson

Three Little Words book cover‘Three Little Words’ is Jessica Thompson’s second book.

Bryony, Rachel and Sara are three women unknown to each other, but one evening’s dramatic turn of events will change all of their lives forever.

Rachel is a ballerina on the verge of stardom, Bryony is suffering a heartbreaking loss and Sara makes an unhappy discovery that makes her question everything she once knew.

When your world shatters at your feet, could three little words be enough to put it all back together.

After the success of her debut book, ‘This Is A Love Story’, Jessica Thompson has returned with her follow up book ‘Three Little Words’ and if you are expecting another story of love and romance then you are in for a surprise, as she taken a different path with her writing. ‘Three Little Words’ is much darker and focuses around the subject of murder, love and betrayal.

The story is based around one day, where three women’s lives will drastically change. It tells the story of Bryony, Sara and Rachel and the circumstances that follow on after that fateful day.

Set against the background of bustling London and beautifully written, ‘Three Little Words’ reflects on forgiveness and no matter how hard you try, it can be sometimes be difficult to forget and forgive.

All three women were inspirational characters, all strong minded and wilful, but it has to be said that Bryony was my favourite of the cast. She was sweet and even in her vulnerable state still came across as strong woman, as she struggled to deal with the cruel hand that she had been dealt. Caught between trying to forgive and not letting go of the past, her story was a beautiful and bittersweet tale as she found strength with time being a healer and she began to blossom as a person.

Heartbreaking from the start, ‘Three Little Words’ is an emotional book about forgiveness and discovering your way in life. A captivating read and a bold move from the young author, who writes dark tales wonderfully. ‘Three Little Words’ is definately a worthy read!

You can buy Three Little Words on Amazon and will be available in paperback from 15th August 2013.