Men and Dogs
By Katie Crouch
(Back Bay Books, Paperback, 9780316002141, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 2011
There are a few things about her father that Hannah Legare is sure of: he can maneuver a boat; he knows all the bones in the human body; he is a hero; and, someday, she'll find him again. You might think that Hannah--now running a racy start-up company with her husband in San Francisco--has moved on in the two decades since her father went fishing and never came back. But Palmer, Hannah's brother, who dutifully stayed home with their mother in Charleston, South Carolina, knows she's still obsessed. When Hannah returns to Charleston after a frenzied break with her husband, Palmer can only imagine what mystery and mayhem she'll stir up.
MEN AND DOGS is a hilarious, affecting, and wholly original tale of siblings trying to reckon with their flaws, with a heroine as exasperating, magnetic, and breathtakingly real as family itself.
Katie Crouch's writing has appeared in Glamour, The London Guardian, and McSweeney's. She received her M.F.A. at Columbia University, and was awarded a Sewanee Walter Dakin Fellowship and a MacDowell Fellowship. She lives in San Francisco with a man, a dog, and a baby.
"Prepare to have your heart broken while laughing out loud at this breathtaking, scathingly sardonic novel. From her opening line--"Two days before Hannah's father disappeared, he took her out in his boat"--Crouch grabs you and never lets go.... Crouch renders San Franciscans in caustic living color... When Hannah goes home to Charleston to dry out and try to find her father, Crouch brings her eccentric Southern kinfolk to life with equal verve. In the hands of a less adept author, this tightly wound tale of one woman's unraveling and redemption might seem more grim than guffaw-worthy. But with Crouch in charge, the reader is assured of a reflective yet riotous ride." Four stars.
"[an] indulgent chick-lit read"
"riveting.... dive right in."
"[A] hot read for a hot day.... In this arresting and often very funny tale, Crouch, best-selling author of Girls in Trucks, makes a case for the redemptive power of uncompromising loyalty and love."
"Self-sabotaging heroines have made for amusing reading since Jane Austen, and Katie Crouch is as good at them as she is at titles.... Who can resist a local accent 'so complex it allows a woman to simultaneously seduce and reprimand in one single word'? Crouch's comic timing is a treat, as is her eye for minor details, like Palmer's damaged rescue dog, who can't bark but merely whispers 'oof.'"
-The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Crouch's prose is crisp and full of engaging details."
-The Charlotte Observer
"as in her best-selling Girls in Trucks, [Crouch] writes with a dark, twisty, but approachable Southern charm."