By Katie Crouch
(Sarah Crichton Books, Hardcover, 9780374100360, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Not since Donna Tartt's The Secret History has a novel this intoxicating captured the headiness and dark temptations of university life.
The old Etruscan city of Grifonia swarms with year-abroad students--thousands of them from all over. Ostensibly, they've come to study. But really they are here to reinvent themselves, to shuck their identities and buck constraints far from the watchful eyes of parents and others who know them too well. There's a reason Henry James's young ladies went to Europe with chaperones. Today's young ladies don't.
In Abroad, the bestselling novelist Katie Crouch--whose Girls in Trucks brilliantly portrayed the cruelties of postcollege New York life on a Southern girl trying to make her way--tears a story from international headlines and transforms it into a page-turning parable of modern girlhood, full of longing and reckless behavior. As the heroine (and the reader) of Abroad will soon discover, Grifonia is a city filled with dangerous secrets of many kinds: ancient, eternal, infernal.
"Prepare to have your heart broken while laughing out loud at this breathtaking, scathingly sardonic novel," wrote People magazine's reviewer about Crouch's Men and Dogs. "From her opening line. . . Crouch grabs you and never lets go." In Abroad, Crouch's mesmerizing talents are again on full display.
Katie Crouch is the New York Times bestselling author of Girls in Trucks, among other novels. She contributes to The Guardian, McSweeney's, Tin House, Slate, the Rumpus, and Salon. A MacDowell fellow, Crouch teaches at San Francisco State University and lives in Bolinas, California.
Crouch ventures daringly into dark new terrain… with a psychological grab-your-throat thriller. Crouch gives indelible voice to the murder victim… [and] the novel… holds you in its ever-tightening grip, with a heady mix of history, burning secrets and exquisite language.
A psychological thriller that'll make you shiver on a warm summer's night.
A beautiful commentary on the ephemeral nature of life and love.
Crouch conveys [her characters] with mastery…. The novel's voice is absolute, its appeal irresistible, and the ending is simultaneously poignant and horrific. Abroad will not disappoint any reader.
Crouch skillfully explores how the influence of peer pressure and the desire to be accepted impacts insecure young women…. The author presents a riveting look into the social dynamics of young women freed from the social dictates of their childhood homes.
Katie Crouch's beautiful and haunting novel is so much more than a fictionalized account of a true crime in an Italian college town. It's a guided tour of the winding and sometimes twisted avenues that lead strangers to a place of friendship, love, treachery, and sacrifice. I loved this book.
A classic character study, a strong plot, and taut pacing make this novel a good read. The codas that sit between chapters and hold all that history, true and imagined; the elegant prose; and a deeply human sensibility are what elevate it to an incredible read.
Katie Crouch's Abroad had me miss an appointment, hide in the bathroom to escape guests and read a few more pages, and finally surrender by getting into bed to feverishly drink this addictive book in one long gulp. Abroad sneakily lures you in with its five alluring women in search of enlightenment--or at least friendship--in a foreign land, and then startles you with its complexity. Crouch is a master writer who captures a provocative news story and then wrestles it, through mythology and history, to stare at death and what lies beyond it.
From her opening line . . . Crouch grabs you and never lets go.