Audiobook review: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott @picadorbooks


Katie and her husband Eric have made their daughter Devon the centre of their world. Talented, determined, a rising gymnastics star, Devon is the focus of her parents' lives and the lynchpin of their marriage. There is nothing they wouldn't do for her.

When a violent hit-and-run accident sends shockwaves through their close-knit community, Katie is immediately concerned for her daughter. She and Eric have worked so hard to protect Devon from anything that might distract or hurt her. That's what every parent wants for their child, after all. Even if they don't realize how much you've sacrificed for them. Even if they are keeping secrets from you . . .

A mother knows best . . . doesn't she?

Plotted with all the brilliance of Dare Me, and written with the compassion of The Fever, the astonishing You Will Know Me - dark and tender by turns -is an unforgettable novel by Megan Abbott.

You will know me by Megan Abbott review

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You have to hand it to Megan Abbott though. She knows people. The dynamic relationships in You Will Know Me are spot on. The (slightly) pushy but proud parents, the determined teen, the hopeful coach and spiteful parents all make for a read that really pulls you in. 

The real beauty is in the easily overlooked details in her writing. A line or two here or there that makes you stop and do a double take. That makes you question your opinion of certain characters. 

"She was the most dangerous thing in her own life. Her body, the only dangerous thing.” 

The story is told from Katie's perspective. She tries to portray an image of strength, to be a pillar of support for Devon as she works her way towards a place in the Olympics but it's clear from the foreshadowing at the start that she is fragile. Constantly obsessing over Devon's childhood accident. 

Other readers have said that they found Devon's brother Drew to be interesting but this is where the audiobook fell a little short for me. The narrator gave him a lisp. I found it slightly cringey and it often distracted me from his words-which turned out to be quite prophetic in the end. 

Young girls often dominate Megan's books but here they mostly take a back seat. Everything we learn about Devon is leaked from her mothers thoughts and actions. It really worked here as the characters are so well developed. This book is about sacrifice and it's often the parents who need to make sacrifices for their children's dreams to become a reality. Katie thinks (as all parents do) that she knows Devon completely. It was very interesting to see this slowly unravel as the story progressed.

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

As this was an audiobook it's hard to talk about the pacing but what I will say is that this book never bored me. It held my interest the whole way through. 

I had put off rating this book for a while. On one hand it was really well written but on the other I found the story quite predictable. I think Megan Abbott has found a formula which works well for her. This leads to a satisfying read but ultimately, an ending that I saw coming from the first few chapters.

If you've never read a Megan Abbott book before then you'll more than likely love and rave about this. If you're a long time you'll probably still enjoy the dynamics even with the predictable ending.

★★★★ ☆

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