The Turnout

by Megan Abbott is a dark thriller set amid the high drama and artistry of the ballet world. Dara and Marie Durant are sisters who run a ballet school along with Dara’s husband Charlie, an ex-dancer whose career was cut short by injury and is now in constant pain. When an accidental fire breaks out in the school’s best dance studio just as Nutcracker season is in full swing, the chaos and loss are only worsened by Derek, a shady contractor who will shake the crumbling foundations of their dance studio, and the lives they have built around it. The book skillfully juxtaposes the beauty and delicacy of ballet with the pain often required to achieve such poise.