Sunday, October 14, 2018

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

If your family has an exceptional child, your life is different from those of other families.  Every resource the family has, time, money, attention is spent on supporting that child and making sure he or she reaches the goal they are pushing toward.  That was the case of the Knox family.  Their daughter, Devon, is a golden girl of gymnastics, one of the few each year who has the realistic potential to make the Olympic team and even medal at the next Olympic games.

Everything the Knox family did, it did with that goal in mind.  Katie, the mom, leaves her full-time job so that she can spend the time taking Devon to practises at a gym that can support her.  There is a second mortgage on the house and Eric, the dad, serves as the parent representative.  There aren't vacations; only family trips to distance cities where Devon is competing and maybe a few hours snatched between rounds.  The money goes quickly on gym fees, private coaching, competition leotards at several hundred dollars each, hotel bills, eating out, etc.  Devon's little brother, Drew, grows up on bleachers where he and his mother spend hours waiting on Devon to end practice.

Now, it's about time for all those sacrifices to pay off.  Devon is approaching the biggest trial in her career, the one that will put her in the stratosphere from which the Olympic team is chosen.  Nothing, nothing can be allowed to distract her or take time from her preparation.  Then something does anyhow.  A young man who is a fixture at the gym and who dates on of the young coaches, is found dead.  Even worse, it appears to be a case of hit and run, his life cut short on the side of a road.  The gym closes down but the rumor mill starts up.  Did the coach kill her boyfriend?  As she is the niece of the gym owner, it starts to affect practises.  The rumor mill gears up.  Hailey is being questioned by the police; Hailey and her boyfriend were seen fighting, Hailey was known for her jealousy.  Soon the gym is shutting down for hours and then days as the gym owner supports his niece.  What will happen next?  Will this put an end to Devon's dreams?

Megan Abbott has captured the concentration and focus that supporting a child with a dream entails.  The drama and suspense builds slowly, exposing the bones beneath the appearance of a successful family who has spent their lives focused on one thing.  It questions when support becomes obsession and exposes how it can affect every relationship.  This book is recommended for thriller readers.

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