Jenna Bush Hager has selected Megan Abbott’s The Turnout as the latest pick for the Today show book club.
“As a profound lover of mysteries, I cannot tell you how excited I am to announce my first Read With Jenna book club pick in this genre,” Hager said, announcing her selection on the morning show.
Abbott’s 10th novel follows two sisters who own a dance school and whose lives are thrown into disarray after a suspicious accident happens shortly before a student performance. A critic for Kirkus wrote of the book, “Though this story lacks some of the unquenchable energy that is Abbott’s trademark, the mesmerizing prose will keep you turning the pages.”
“As a kid, I loved to stay up late during the summer reading mystery novels with a flashlight,” Hager said. “As I used the light on my phone to finish Megan Abbott’s The Turnout, I was taken right back to the summer nights of my youth.”
Abbott told the Today show she’s long been fascinated with ballet.
“There’s something about the perfectionism,” she said. “This sort of mask that dancers wear to hide all the work and the sweat and the pain and the sacrifice. It felt very powerful to be able to do that.”
She expressed her shock at being selected for the book club on Twitter, writing, “To be honest, I can’t even believe it. If I hadn’t seen it on TV, I wouldn’t have believed it myself!”
I'm so, so excited to report that ... gulp ... THE TURNOUT is this month's #ReadwithJenna pick..! @TODAYshow @PutnamBooks https://t.co/XQ1lDXy0Im— Megan Abbott (@meganeabbott) August 3, 2021
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.