Give Me Your Hand, by Megan Abbott, 4 Stars

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for Give Me Your Hand to come out. And finally, it released last week. And almost instantaneously, my library copy was available for me. I must really stalk new releases to get the first hold in the system!

But Megan Abott is really a master at writing amazing books about the female condition. And of course extra stuff too–like deception and murder.

So, without further ado..

From the Publisher:

A mesmerizing psychological thriller about how a secret can bind two friends together forever…or tear them apart.

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.

My Review:

Nobody writes female friendship better than Megan Abbott. Except maybe Judy Blume. Okay, no one does female friendship with a dark twist better than Megan Abbott. I can say that for certain! She writes about the turmoil and angsty emotions just under the surface of every teen girl. And what happens when all of that emotion comes to head.

I never realized it until I was reading a Time magazine article on Ms. Abbott that all the victims in her stories are men. And, by golly, they are! How did I miss that? She really makes some interesting observations on gender and gender classification in her books and the all-powerful female reigns supreme.

Give Me Your Hand might be her biggest statement on gender and inequality yet. Kit Owens is a successful female scientist working in a lab of mostly men for a powerful female mentor, Dr. Severin, who has made it her life’s work to study PMDD. The theme “the blood is life”–a bit tongue in cheek–is repeated several times in the book, as a young Kit and Diane follow their dreams to be female scientists working for Dr. Severin.

Of course, two successful female scientists who haven’t seen each other since they were best friends in high school and have always competed against each other is not the whole story. It would be if Judy Blume were the author (no offense meant to JB). But there is much more here. Because Diane has a secret. A secret so bad that it ruined their friendship years ago and they will not be making nice now.

If you enjoy suspenseful, well-written literature with a dark side, you need this book (and Megan Abbott’s other books) in your life! And good new…it’s available now!

Get yours:




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