Sarah Crichton Books, Hardcover, 9780374100360, 282pp.
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
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’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.” —Ann Leary, author of The Good House
“Abroad is a riveting page-turner populated by vain, destructive, and yet altogether intriguing characters. A tribute to the complexities of youth, a vivid picture of both ancient and modern Italy, and most of all, a complex psychological thriller, Abroad will incite debate, admiration, and awe.” —Vendela Vida, author of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The Lovers
“Katie Crouch has the artist’s gaze that lets her look at a moment as contemporary as a tabloid headline and see the eternal verities within it. Abroad combines her winsomely modern ear with an eye for the perils and ecstasies that have defined young-womanhood across centuries.” —Jonathan Dee, author of The Privileges
“Katie Crouch’s Abroad is as seductive as a chilled Campari on a sunny Italian afternoon. Crouch excels at describing the complex geography of female friendship. Her tale of an innocent abroad mixes murder, lust, and Etruscan mythology into a heady cocktail.” —Tatjana Soli, New York Times bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters
“From the first page of this cunningly suspenseful, brilliantly imagined novel, you know where you’re headed—but then again, you don’t. With uncanny psychological precision and a dark, dead-on wit, Katie Crouch explores how the casual follies of youth all too quickly turn tragic. That she does so by blending ancient history with a true-crime story whose twists and turns still claim international headlines makes it all the more powerful. Prepare to be entertained, terrified, and haunted.” —Julia Glass, National Book Award-winning author of Three Junes
“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.” —Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas and The Virgin of Flames
“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.” —Deb Olin Unferth, author of Vacation
Praise for Men and Dogs
“From her opening line . . . Crouch grabs you and never lets go.” —Meredith Maran, People