The depth of talent that Megan Abbott possesses is indeed enviable. But given the fact that her readers are able to reap the benefits of her talents, I think we can forgo the envy and celebrate her works instead. The most recent work to celebrate is a bit of a change for Abbott. THE END OF EVERYTHING is a modern novel set in the Midwest told through the voice of thirteen-year-old Lizzie Hood. When Lizzie's best friend and next door neighbor Evie Verver disappears one afternoon, the entire community is sent into a state of panic and Lizzie finds her childhood stolen as swiftly as her best friend.
Abbott's novel is narrated on audio by Emily Bauer who brings not only Lizzie's teenage voice to life, but also the sights and sounds and rich flavors of Abbott's small Michigan town. The sensual nature of THE END OF EVERYTHING transports readers back to their own childhood:
"...I know Evie's cartwheels, the way she floated through them, like moving through molasses, smooth and dawdling and tongue-sweet, why, that's how it was."
Lizzie's experiences thankfully differ from most teen-agers in losing her best friend. But there are still strong similarities to the average teen in her fairy tale ideas of love, her hero-worship of Mr. Verver, and her unadulterated devotion to her friendship with Evie. Bauer articulates Lizzie's characteristics in such a way that we never question why a child would make such choices, instead we find them to be the natural choices. We're no longer logical, careful adults; we're the innocent naive child again.
Megan Abbott is forging new territory with every novel she pens. THE END OF EVERYTHING has taken her to new heights and it has taken the crime fiction genre to new heights. Not only does she examine the crime of kidnapping but she examines the crime of a stolen soul, ripped from its unsuspecting owner who struggles to make sense of her loss. This is a beautiful novel and a terrifying novel. A gentle, sensual novel and a dark, violent novel. It will lovingly haunt the reader who finds that the end comes far too soon.
Emily Bauer taps into Abbott's world seamlessly making this audiobook a chilling treat. I wouldn't recommend missing this one.
THE END OF EVERYTHING is available in hardcover (ISBN: 978-0-316-09779-6) from Reagan Arthur Books and on audio (ISBN: 978-1-441-78171-0) from Blackstone Audio.