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You Will Know MeReview - You Will Know Me
by Megan Abbott
Hachette Audio, 2016
Review by Christian Perring
Nov 8th 2016 (Volume 20, Issue 45)

You Will Know Me is a novel about a family with a 15-year-old daughter who is very talented at gymnastics.  It shows how Katie and Eric are drawn into a competitive way of life, completely devoted to Devon's success.  They neglect the needs of her little brother Drew because they are so focused on getting Devon into the Olympics. We see the way that Devon's fame makes her the center of attention from other girls her age at the gym, and other families crave to achieve the same success. There are terrible tensions between Katie and Eric, although they also maintain a basic connection, and the gap between grows as the drama of the story develops.  We see how the small community of middle class America is rotten at its core. The story is also about how teenage girls withhold so much information from their parents, and the closeness that mothers feel with their daughters is an illusion. It's unrelenting its portrayal of a the ugly reality behind the veneer of genteel modern life, making it reminiscent of the works of movie director David Lynch. There are some moments of optimism and we get some insight into the world of competitive gymnastics that might be based on reality, and that makes the novel more interesting. The writing flows well and the pace of the story keeps the reader engaged, although ultimately the revelations are hardly surprising. The unabridged audiobook is performed by Lauren Fortgang, who brings plenty of energy to the reading, but errs on the side of hamming it up occasionally

 

© 2016 Christian Perring

 

Christian Perring teaches philosophy in NYC.


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