You will know me, p.28
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       You Will Know Me, p.28

           Megan Abbott
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  Beside her, Drew, the fever long gone, skin peeled away revealing a face that was not the same face, was new.

  Curling him close, she looked into his eyes, and they weren’t the same eyes. Suddenly, with great pain, she knew she couldn’t see into them as she once could.

  She had no idea what he was thinking at all. Eyes blank, blinds drawn.

  “Mom, Devon’s going to do it,” he promised, patting her hand. “She’s going to make it. I told her this morning. And she said she loved me.”

  “We all love you, Drew,” she said, pulling him closer.

  They had never talked about the role he’d played in any of this, and never again about what he’d seen in the garage. His father and his sister, their world flayed before them, both their hands covered in blood and gristle. His father and sister conspiring to form a lie to last forever. Fortress walls thirty feet thick. A surrounding moat a hundred yards deep.

  Or maybe Eric had talked to him, taking him, of late, on long, meandering walks through the woods to look for sphinx moths as dusk fell.

  The Knoxes—they were four, but they were one. Seated in the risers, backs arched in their matching BelStars tees, Katie, Eric, and Drew watched Devon, the matchless perfection with which she stormed through the compulsories on day one. The night in between, at the Best Western that smelled like carpet powder and pet hair, they shared both a watchful silence and the excitement of knowing that she would secure it on day two. And now here it was, the end of a triumphant day two, her last routine, her last vault run.

  They had embarked on this epic journey long ago, centuries, it felt like, and it was unstoppable.

  The force that through the green fuse drives the flower.

  No one could stop it now. Not the police. Not Hailey Belfour, who’d followed her beloved uncle in lockstep. Not Gwen Weaver. Not a scattering of paint chips that never led anywhere. Another unsolved hit-and-run.

  Not the envy of others, not all the people who’d misunderstood and judged them.

  Not even the lobster claw at the end of Devon’s ankle could stop them now.

  Least of all a boy, a beautiful, ephemeral young man who’d floated up from the road like a feather.

  No one could.

  Was one meant to pay forever for a fleeting mistake? A turn of the wheel, a bobble of a foot, a pause that lasted seconds too long?

  Because they had finally arrived at what it had all been leading to, since Devon first squirmed, a slippery minnow, in her womb. Promising Katie everything, beginning with Eric.

  All forces had conspired for them at last, and it was time for the Knoxes, their hearts on the floor.

  Katie watched, her breath even and sure, one hand in Eric’s, the other tight on Drew’s shoulder.

  At the foot of the runway, Devon waited, her eyes on the gleaming leather of the vault table.

  And from the stands, it was like her foot was glowing. It was glowing.

  There she stood, Devon—her body, their body, one body—and all the exceptional talent contained within it.

  Her body, a machine. A marvel. Her body was everything.

  Her body was their heart.


  There are not thank-yous enough to account for my debt to the extraordinary Reagan Arthur and her entire, astounding Little, Brown team, especially Michelle Aielli, Sabrina Callahan, Miriam Parker, Meghan Deans, Peggy Freudenthal, Tracy Roe, and Julianna Lee.

  By the same token, I am so grateful to the marvelous Paul Baggeley, Kate Harvey, Emma Bravo, Francesca Main, and Ansa KhanKhattak at Picador for their brilliant efforts. And heartiest thanks are owed to Angharad Kowal, Maja Nikolic, and Taylor Templeton at Writers House and Sylvie Rabineau, Jill Gillett, and Julie Snider at RWSG.

  Foremost gratitude to Dan Conaway, who makes all this happen.

  And with special thanks to my infinitely supportive family: Phil and Patti Abbott, who inspire me regularly; Josh Abbott, Julie Nichols, and Kevin Abbott; and Jeff, Ruth, Steve, and Michelle Nase.

  And to the dearest of friends: Alison Quinn, Darcy Lockman, and the notorious FLs.

  I also owe a special thanks to Kat Howard—a wonderful writer and also a former gymnast—for her generous early read of this novel.

  And lastly to what-would-I-do-without-you folks from Oxford, MS: Jack Pendarvis, Theresa Starkey, Ace and Angela Atkins (Angela, from whom I purloined a detail for this very book), Bill and Katie Boyle, and Jimmy Cajoleas. I could do nothing the rest of my life but sit and talk with all of you forever and count myself happy, and lucky.

  About the Author

  Megan Abbott is the award-winning author of eight novels, including The Fever and Dare Me. She received her PhD in English and American literature from New York University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the Guardian, and the Believer. She lives in New York City.

  Also by Megan Abbott

  The Fever

  Dare Me

  The End of Everything

  Bury Me Deep


  The Song Is You

  Die a Little

  The Street Was Mine

  Thank you for buying this ebook, published by Hachette Digital.

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  Title Page



  The Party

  I. Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  II Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  III Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  IV Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  V Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three


  About the Author

  Also by Megan Abbott



  The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

  Copyright © 2016 by Megan Abbott

  Cover design by Julianna Lee; photograph by plainpicture/André Schuster

  Author photograph by Drew Reilly

  Cover copyright © 2016 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  Hachette Book Group supports the right to free expression and the value of copyright. The purpose of copyright is to encourage writers and artists to produce the creative works that enrich our culture.

  The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book without permission is a theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like permission to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), please contact [email protected] Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.

  Little, Brown and Company

  Hachette Book Group

  1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104

  First ebook edition: July 2016

  Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. The Little, Brown name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.

  ISBN 978-0-316-23108-4




  Megan Abbott, You Will Know Me



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