Shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award
A life-changing secret destroys an unlikely friendship in this "magnetic" (Meg Wolitzer) psychological thriller from the Edgar Award-winning author of Dare Me. You told each other everything. Then she told you too much.
Kit has risen to the top of her profession and is on the brink of achieving everything she wanted. She hasn't let anything stop her.
But now someone else is standing in her way - Diane. Best friends at seventeen, their shared ambition made them inseparable. Until the day Diane told Kit her secret - the worst thing she'd ever done, the worst thing Kit could imagine - and it blew their friendship apart.
Kit is still the only person who knows what Diane did. And now Diane knows something about Kit that could destroy everything she's worked so hard for.
How far would Kit go, to make the hard work, the sacrifice, worth it in the end? What wouldn't she give up? Diane thinks Kit is just like her. Maybe she's right. Ambition: it's in the blood . . .
Megan Abbott is the award-winning author of nine novels, including You Will Know Me, The Fever, Dare Me, and The End of Everything. She received her PhD in literature from New York University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Guardian, and The Believer. Currently, she is a staff writer on HBO's new David Simon show, The Deuce. She lives in New York City.
What People are Saying About This
Bestselling author of ILL WILL - Dan Chaon
"GIVE ME YOUR HAND is further proof that Megan Abbott is the 21st century's answer to Patricia Highsmith--she has that uncanny insight into the dark and treacherous depths of the human heart."
Give Me Your Hand 4.4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Haunts you from moment one. I was totally wrapped up in this very original, disturbing novel.
More than 1 year ago
Women take center stage in this mystery. Pages and pages drenched in estrogen. The setting is an experimental laboratory where all the young scientists are consumed by competition in their study of a hyper-PMS disease, but only the chief scientist & one intern are women -- until a talented female scientist is poached from another lab. Some pretty toxic characters in this story, counterbalanced by a few good women in the background.
3 days ago
This is a super fast paced read. So many time I asked myself "what the hell just happened". I loved not knowing what would happen next. The author also does a great job at switching from past to present, only giving a little of the story away each time, you will truly not know the full explanation of what happened until the very very end, this created such good suspense. Highly Highly Recommend.
8 months ago
Cunning and clever. Kit meets Diana at school, both runners, both work harder than anyone else, both want to win the scholarship sponsored by the reknown Dr. Severin. Only one, however, will win this prize. A secret is a secret only when the one with the secret never tells. Diane has a big secret, one she tells Kit, who she considers her friend, but friends can so easily become rivals, when both want the same thing.
Years pass, Kit works with Dr. Severin in her lab on a study of female menses, when she is unexpectedly united with Diana once again. When I read thrillers I am sometimes entertained, sometimes incredulous, but Im not often made to think about how the story was assembled and what it is meant to represent. Abbott writes about strong females, women at the top of their game, but inside they are anything but strong. Here she shows us the cut throat, claustrophobic feeling of the scientific lab. Where there is room for only a few in the important studies, the prestigious ones, and what people will do to get to the top. On the surface Diana and Kit are alike but underneath they are very different. Or are they? One knows who she is, the other makes excuses for the way she acts, but who is to say what she is actually capable of doing. She is not exactly innocent, has betrayed before, swinging things in her favor.
As I was reading this I kept thinking of the book Columbine and one thing said in the book has always stayed with me. That without Eric, Danny would never have been a killer. I was surprised therefore, when something like that was written here.
"The world is a fiction the brain constructs. The smell of a fresh peach, the punch of a Firefly in the night sky. The lilting hush hush of a lullaby. The brain fashions it all and we don't know how or why.
So how could I know about myself, what I am, what Diane is or was before.
What Diane and I are together that we might never have been alone."
There is so much going on here under the surface, so much symbolism. Not an ordinary thriller by any means, but a thriller by a clever author at the top of her game.
More than 1 year ago
Give Me Your Hand is a tale of a very dysfunctional friendship between two women, Kit and Diane. The relationship begins at cross country camp as teenagers and develops into a somewhat friendly rivalry of sports and academics and integrity. Until Kit finds out that Diana has a secret. A big secret. Kit wants to know what that secret is until Diane reveals it to her and their friendship is forever changed.
Years later and long past the last time Kit had seen Diane,, Kit finds out that they are both up for the same research project. The dysfunction then spirals into toxic and twisted. It seems the secret that Diane told to Kit has taken on a life of it's own and is having a sort of snowball effect, even a decade later and Kit is right in the danger zone.
Give Me Your Hand was my first experience with Megan Abbott. I was intrigued by the academic and scientific aspect of the book as well as by the expectant thrill ride. I enjoyed the book and very much like Ms. Abbott's writing style. I found myself not wanting to put the book down and eagerly awaiting the answers to all of my questions! I do feel that the book lacked a 'wow' factor in the twist and felt a little let down by that but taking the whole of the book into consideration and how much I enjoyed it, I would definitely recommend this book!
More than 1 year ago
Kit and Diane became close friends as teenagers. One day they tell each other their deepest, darkest secret. Diane's is so shocking, Kit could no longer continue the relationship. After not seeing Diane for several years, the two ladies encounter each other at their place of work. Let the games begin.
Hot dog - this was good! Just as I was somewhat starting to give up on it, the story takes a twist and from there on it was a page turner. A tale of lies and deception, it really ended with a bang.
I received this from Little Brown & Company via Netgalley.
More than 1 year ago
Megan Abbott has received rave reviews for her previous novels especially You Will Know Me and The Fever. Her knack for creating engrossing plots with complex characters is evident again in her newest work, Give Me Your Hand. Abbott manages to weave a taut, addictive tale while also addressing many timely themes and contemporary issues. In this book, just some of the topics she touches upon: symbiotic/parasitic friendships, the stigma of mental illness, guilt and self-punishment, gender inequality in the STEM fields (both as a focus of research and in workforce representation), lack of NIH funding, class privilege and cronyism, and competition between women. Give Me Your Hand takes place in a medical research lab staffed primarily with male post-docs. Kit, the main character, and their boss Dr. Severin are the only women, even though the focus of the study is PMDD (Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder). The staff are vying for spots on Dr. Severin’s special team, an opportunity that could cement their careers. They are all dismayed to see a new female employee entering their fold, especially Kit. It turns out that Diane Fleming is not only fierce competition for the limited slots, she and Kit have a shared history that contains a disturbing and life-altering secret. The novel pivots back and forth in time between the drama in the lab and the background story of how Kit and Diane met and became enmeshed as teens. Abbott cleverly keeps the reader guessing and glued to the pages. She challenges traditional ideas of ethics, especially for women who have been marginalized and forced to fight for advancement and recognition. A page turner that also provokes deep contemplation, Give Me Your Hand is a great pick for the summer. It will certainly reaffirm Megan Abbott’s deserved popularity and create anticipation for her next endeavor.
More than 1 year ago
I'll begin this review by saying I've been a fan of Megan Abbott for years and "Give Me Your Hand" is one of her best works yet.
I was fully engaged in the story. I was always waiting for something bad to happen to the main character, Kit, or some of the other supporting characters. Eventually, things do happen and the story continues to ramp up with suspense. The climax of the story happens and I did not see it going in the direction that it did.
Such a fantastic read from Megan Abbott, I highly recommend this one. Can't wait for more stories from her in the future. Read it now!
More than 1 year ago
This might be one of the most unique twists on a mystery/psychological thriller that I have read all year - this is a perfect slow burn that drags your forward with a never-ending sense of doom, and I enjoyed every tense second of it.
Kit is a brilliant scientist - a world she owes in part to her equally brilliant high school friend Diane, who pushed her far beyond what Kit had dreamed for herself. Kit hasn't seen Diane since high school, not since Diane shared her worst secret with Kit, a secret that Kit never wanted to be responsible for. Until the day that Diane arrives at the lab where Kit works, competition for a highly prestigious project, and as mysterious and secretive as ever.
Hands down, my favorite aspect of this story is the fact that it is centered around brilliant, strong, willful, trailblazing women. Women with absolutely remarkable brains and careers, who are powerful competition for each other, as well as the men in the story. It is refreshing to see women portrayed in such a fierce manner - and to see women represented in the science sector so boldly. Despite the murderous plot to the story - the center of this story remains grounded in powerful women.
Second to that, I loved the mystery to this story. This was one that burned out slow, moving back and forth from present day to when Kit and Diane were in high school together, letting the secrets between them unravel a bit at a time. Occasionally Kit's paranoia felt a bit repetitive for me, although always plausible to her place in the action. I did appreciate as well, the fact that while these were women who could be calculated and cold, they were also very exceptionally human, and Megan Abbott does terrific work keeping that connection.
I burned through this book so quickly, as it became deeply addictive to see just how twisted and dark the characters really were, and how many more twists were going to land before it ended. It did not disappoint, and kept me hooked to the very last scandalizing page. This is a must read for thriller lovers out there - don't let this one slip away.
More than 1 year ago
Her best book yet!
Somehow, impossibly, Megan Abbott gets better and better with every book. The first of hers I read was END OF EVERYTHING, which I loved. Then DARE ME, which I loved even more; and then THE FEVER, and then YOU WILL KNOW ME--each more amazing than the one before, and so it is with the new one, GIVE ME YOUR HAND, which is simply astounding. I'll leave it to others to summarize the story, which is full of stunning surprise; for me, though, there's nobody, no other writer working today, who matches what Megan Abbott is doing--and GIVE ME YOUR HAND finds her at the absolute top of her game. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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