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In a placid 1980s suburb in the Midwest, thirteen-year old Lizzie and her next door neighbor Evie Verver are inseparable, best friends who swap bathing suits and field-hockey sticks and between whom, presumably, there are no secrets. Together they live in the shadow of Evie's glamorous older sister Dusty, who provides them a window on the exotic, intoxicating possibilities on their own teenage horizons. To Lizzie, the Verver household, presided over by Evie's big-hearted father, is the world’s most perfect place.
And then, one afternoon, Evie disappears. The only clue: a maroon sedan Lizzie spotted driving past the two girls earlier in the day. As a rabid, giddy panic spreads through the balmy suburban community, everyone turns to Lizzie for answers. Was Evie unhappy, troubled, upset? Had she mentioned being followed? Would she have gotten into the car of a stranger? Would Evie have gotten into a car with a man?
Compelled by curiosity and a desire to rescue the enchanted Verver household from ruin, Lizzie takes up her own furtive pursuit of the truth. Her days spent with a shell-shocked Mr. Verver, she devotes her nights to prowling through backyards, peering through windows, pushing herself to the dark center of Evie’s world. Haunted by dreams of her lost friend and titillated by her own new power as the center of the disappearance, Lizzie uncovers secret after secret and begins to wonders if she knew anything about her best friend at all.
Named one of the Boston Globe's 10 Best Crime Books of the Year.
Named on Publisher's Weekly Best Books of 2011 list
One of Washington Examiner's Best Books of 2011: "Menacing and poignant, Abbott's novel fuses Judy Blume's keen understanding of budding girls with the sustained tension of Tana French."
Richard & Judy's Lead Fall Book Club Pick at WHSmith Bookseller
A Los Angeles Times bestseller
“Anything but typical... deftly skirt[s] the familiar 'adolescent girl as victim' scenario and explor[es], instead, the power games that young women engage in with much older men... games in which there are unwritten rules and exquisite danger for all who play.”
“A mesmerizing psychological thriller and a freshly imagined coming-of-age story [that] will draw comparisons to The Lovely Bones.... The End of Everything is charged throughout with adolescent longing [and] inchoate desires...marks a major departure for Abbott.
“A sensitive, unconventional tale about the infinitely complex mystery of sexual awakening that lingers in the mind long after the book is finished.”
“An accomplished psychological thriller... a highly skilful novel, taut, addictive, full of stuff to keep you hungrily reading.”
“Abbott offers a mournful, Marianne Faithfull-like song to the dark, unidentifiable urges of adolescence, with roots that go so, so deep... The End of Everything is more than a novel you can't put down, although it's that as well. This is a psychological story of adolescence that's both too simple and too mystifying to call a 'thriller.' It lifts Megan Abbott to a new level as a writer of crime fiction and of literature...and will stay with you no matter how much it hurts to remember.”
“A haunting story...evoke[s] the furtive blossoming of adolescent sexuality...that lies beneath the ice cream shops and sprinklered lawns of '80s suburbia.”
“Will haunt you as only a modern-day Lolita can.”
“Stirring...[a] storytelling feat.”
“On the back of the success of The Lovely Bones, and in a similar vein to The Virgin Suicides, comes this haunting and gripping tale about teen girls on the cusp of adolescence... An utterly addictive read. ”
“One of those gripping books you'll postpone a night out for, just to be able to finish it... Fascinating... an astoundingly insightful tale.”
“Already being compared to The Virgin Suicides (and, for once, rightly so). ...Dreamy, shimmering, enthralling.”
“Fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson will welcome Abbott's haunting psychological thriller ... Abbott expertly captures the nuances of lost innocence and childhood friendships, without ever losing an undercurrent of menace.”
“A story tight with suspense... A child disappears, a family drama bubbles up -- it is a narrative device common to literary mystery fiction, but few authors employ it as skilfully as Abbott has in her [new] novel.”
“This is a gripping and disturbing novel, a fever dream of adolescent desire and adult complicity. Megan Abbott writes with total authority and an almost desperate intensity; her story grabs hold of you and won’t let go.”
“Megan Abbott captures the essence of being thirteen—all its magic, its intensity and confusion, its headlong power and its terrible vulnerability—and wraps it in a story that’s taut, unflinching and very hard to put down.”
“Megan Abbott is always a surprising writer, one with a liking for the raw and ambivalent side of life. The End of Everything moves her away from the deeply satisfying pleasures of noir towards something more subtle, but still deft, intelligent and enthralling.”
“With The End of Everything, Megan Abbott takes an insightful, sensuous coming-of-age tale and ties it to a freight train of a mystery. The result is a novel that’s bold, unnerving, poignant and full of yearning--ike that first teenage year itself.”
“Megan Abbott is the perfect storyteller—compelling, confounding and unconventional. And The End of Everything is a dark, twisted tale that will echo in the back of your mind long after you've closed the book.”
“Lizzie’s quest to find her missing best friend Evie, and make Evie’s seemingly perfect family whole again, is riveting and heartbreaking. Abbott’s lyrical prose gives voice to a girl in the grips of profound loss and transformation. This is a book that gets under your skin and stays there.”
“Abbott perfectly captures the tragedy of vulnerability.”
“This little book packs a wallop. In prose as relentless as it is compelling, Abbott rips the shiny veneer from an idyllic suburban childhood, uncovering the uncomfortable truths festering therein.”