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345 pages, Hardcover
First published July 26, 2016
"So many things you never think you'll do until you do them.”
That’s what parenthood was about, wasn’t it? Slowly understanding your child less and less until she wasn’t yours anymore but herself.
He’d never woken up, and the only sound now was his breathing, hoarse and ragged. For a second she thought she saw his lashes lift, the white of one eye looking at her, but she was wrong.
"Never again," she told herself. "I won’t be that mom. She needs someplace to be herself. To be messy and sad and human. Real."
To be whatever she was becoming.
She hadn't learned, no one had taught her—Katie and Eric hadn't taught her—that the things you want, you never get them. And if you do they're not what you thought they'd be. But you'd still do anything to keep them. Because you wanted them for so long.
“That’s what parenthood was about, wasn’t it? Slowly understanding your child less and less until she wasn’t yours anymore but herself.”You Will Know Me is a quick and compelling mystery, but not one that is particularly thrilling or shocking.
“That was what gymnastics did, though. It aged girls and kept them young forever at the same time.”The gymnastics focus of the story is incredibly accurate and well-written. Megan Abbott does not lean too heavily into the technical details of the sport, so the novel is easy for people who are unfamiliar with gymnastics to follow. Yet, she perfectly manages to encapsulate the decades of hard work, money, and dedication gymnasts and their families put in to reach the top level of the sport.
“After all, who wouldn’t do anything for one’s child? Especially when that child worked harder and wanted something more than either of them ever had? Who wanted in ways they’d long forgotten how to want or had never known at all?”
That’s what parenthood was about, wasn’t it? Slowly understanding your child less and less until she wasn’t yours anymore but herself.I have a weakness for books and movies that examine parents of exceptional children. How hard do you push—should you even push at all—to help your child realize their potential? Where is the line between helping them, and living through them in reflected glory? Is there any way for a child to have a semblance of normalcy while pursuing such excellence?