Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott Book Review
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date July 17, 2018
Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane’s academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship. Until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them.
More than a decade later, Kit thinks she’s put Diane behind her forever and she’s begun to fulfill the scientific dreams Diane awakened in her. But the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, taking part in groundbreaking new research led by their idol. Soon enough, the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both.
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott Book Review
When you read the synopsis for Give Me Your Hand, you have an idea it’s not going to end well for one or both of the main characters. You know there will be tension, darkness, feuding but it’s HOW readers get to the ending that’s the real story.
Destined To Read Megan Abbott
This is my first novel by Megan Abbott. I’ve eyed her books for years, but didn’t take the leap! Recently, she helped narrate a podcast about I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara & I thought, I need to read her stuff! After that I read this article in the LA Times about why women love true crime & I said, “Aha!” I like her. Then I saw her book Dare Me is planning to be adapted for the small screen with our man Rob Heaps from Imposters. I told myself, I’ll definitely read it before the TV show. Finally, I saw Megan was stopping in Portland for her book tour & I bought Give Me Your Hand the week it was released. I stopped messing around & did the damn thing.
Slow Burn Noir
Let’s just be honest, Give Me Your Hand has mixed reviews from many of my book loving friends. That’s okay with me. I enjoy reading books that don’t sit well with everyone. Going in, I knew the story was a bit of a slow burn & took on the task of competitive female relationships. That’s enough to intrigue me.
Frenemies are a nasty thing. What I love about Diane & Kit’s frenemy relationship is that it propels them both to success. Now, I’m not a fancy ass Doctoral candidate in research of any kind. But I did have to compete with a few hundred folks to get into Graduate School. Once in school, the competitive nature stuck around & even lasted a few years after graduation. Once you start the trek of competitive academics, it has an effect on your psyche & all of your relationships. Kit & Diane know this all too well.
Megan is able to capture this world and the tension & isolation surrounding the research environment very well. She also dives into what happens when someone shares a secret. My buddy Bianca & I attended Megan’s event at Powell’s & Megan spoke about her inspiration for Give Me Your Hand. She stated it was from a Texas Monthly article & what struck her is the idea of what happens to the person who is told the secret. In Give Me Your Hand, Kit holds on to a secret that she didn’t want to know ANYTHING about & it alters her life. I found this inspiration to be fascinating.
I am Really Into This book! This is not your typical thriller. Let’s compare it to one of our faves, Alfred Hitchcock. Give Me Your Hand isn’t like Psycho, where the most memorable part is a crazy shower scene. It is more similar to the Hitchcock movie, Rope. Have you seen that one? Rope where is a dead body placed in a trunk & the murderers then host a dinner party with the trunk in plain view of guests. Viewers know the body is there, you know someone will figure it out. It’s HOW they figure it out and all the tension along the way that creates the experience. Give Me Your Hand is not about the big scene, but the tension and the build-up along the journey.
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Megan Abbott is the Edgar-winning author of the novels Die a Little, Bury Me Deep, The End of Everything, Dare Me and The Fever. Her most recent book is You Will Know Me, which was chosen as one of Best Books of 2016 by NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, Time Out NY, the Washington Post, Google, Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.
Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The Believer. Her stories hav appeared in multiple collections, including the Best American Mystery Stories of 2014 and 2016.
Her work has won or been nominated for the CWA Steel Dagger, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and five Edgar awards, Currently, she is a staff writer on HBO’s new David Simon show, The Deuce, and is adapting two of her novels for television and feature film.
Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She has taught at NYU, the State University of New York and the New School University. In 2013-14, she served as the John Grisham Writer in Residence at Ole Miss.
She is also the author of a nonfiction book, The Street Was Mine: White Masculinity in Hardboiled Fiction and Film Noir, and the editor of A Hell of a Woman, an anthology of female crime fiction. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar Awards, Hammett Prize, the Shirley Jackson Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Folio Prize.