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You Will Know Me Bets On...

You Will Know Me

August 2016

I confess to being an Olympics junkie. I am intrigued by those who put great effort towards such a singular goal. To succeed so young requires dedication of the athlete’s family, as well as drive and raw talent. And it starts young, often robbing these young protégés of so-called normal lives. Thus I was drawn to read Megan Abbott’s YOU WILL KNOW ME, a novel that on one level is the poetic story of a young gymnast’s road to success that reads like one of those saccharine stories that accompanies the Olympics broadcasts, and, on another, a nail-biting thriller.

Devon Knox is an Olympics hopeful whose parents, Katie and Eric, have guided her career from the days of early tumbling classes. These classes began as therapy for her after a shocking accident. Tumbling turns to gymnastics, and Devon’s star rises amidst a close-knit community of athletes and their parents. This community has all the markings of high school with a pecking order and hierarchy amongst both the athletes and their parents. Readers get an inside look at the punishing world of the sport, and a life where being the best in your sport is a daily goal, with a long path to success.

Life is more than a beam or parallel bar performance, or the sequins stitched onto a leotard, but the perfection to hit the routine right and sparkle comes with its own price. Families sacrifice a so-called normal life that few will ever see, driving themselves right into this obsession. So what does it mean for them when the threads start to pull apart? Narrated by Katie, YOU WILL KNOW ME unwraps the story of how these lives went awry.

The real world creeps in as a violent accident leaves people wondering what happened to the young man who was so loved around the gym --- the guy with the perfect perky girlfriend. Who is responsible? Who knows what? And how will the secrets be unraveled without damaging the stars, who have been sheltered thus far from much of the real world?

The tension ramps up so rapidly that you cannot look away, though you start to see where it is headed. Or do you? Megan Abbott gets better and better with each book. Once you close the pages of YOU WILL KNOW ME, I dare you to watch an elite athletic performance the same way again.

You Will Know Me
by Megan Abbott