Book Review: You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott

You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

Published by Little, Brown & Company on July 26, 2016

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, mystery, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 352

Source: purchased

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The audacious new novel about family and ambition from “one of the best living mystery writers” (Grantland) and bestselling, award-winning author of The Fever, Megan Abbott.

How far will you go to achieve a dream? That’s the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes there are no limits–until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk.

As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers–about her daughter’s fears, her own marriage, and herself–forces Katie to consider whether there’s any price she isn’t willing to pay to achieve Devon’s dream.

From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl” (Janet Maslin), You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of parental sacrifice, furtive desire, and the staggering force of ambition.

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This book. I almost don’t have the words to describe what this book did to me. Obviously, though, that is the point of a review so here goes…

Let me start by saying that, as a gymnast from the ages of 5 through 14, I loved that this story was set in the world of competitive gymnastics. To be clear, I was no Devon and it was more of a fun hobby than a competitive sport for me, but I could relate to the life of torn skin, calluses, sprains, breaks, and aches. Here we visit this world through the eyes of Katie, Devon’s mom, as she and her husband do everything in their power for their daughter to succeed.

You Will Know Me is essentially a mystery about a death that happens within this world. But there is so much more to this story. As we peel away the layers of what actually happened, we find so many secrets. Everyone has their secrets. Amidst the suspense, I kept asking myself, how completely can you really know someone? Even the person who sleeps next to you or the ones you give life to. We share our lives with these people and still it is possible to not fully know them.

“Had he really said that? And all she could think was What did that mean, to him?”

“That’s what parenthood was about, wasn’t it? Slowly understanding your child less and less until she wasn’t yours anymore but herself.”

Abbott’s writing is detailed, eloquent, and expressive in a way that is not overdone. She paints a picture that is deep and dark and gritty and raw and real. So lifelike, in fact, that two-thirds of the way through I literally had to put the book down, find my husband, and sit and talk with him to put myself back in my own skin. This is the first book by Megan Abbott that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. Highly recommended.


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