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Men and Dogsby Katie Crouch
Synopses & Reviews
When Hannah Legare was 11, her father went on a fishing trip in the Charleston harbor and never came back. And while most of the town and her family accepted Buzz's disappearance, Hannah remained steadfastly convinced of his imminent return.
Twenty years later, Hannah's new life in San Francisco is unraveling. Her marriage is on the rocks, her business is bankrupt. After a disastrous attempt to win back her husband, she ends up back at her mother's home to rest up, where she is once again sucked into the mystery of her missing father. Suspecting that those closest are keeping secrets — including Palmer, her emotionally closed, well-mannered brother and Warren, the beautiful boyfriend she left behind — Hannah sets out on an uproarious, dangerous quest that will test the whole family's concepts of loyalty and faith.
"Crouch's accomplished sophomore novel kicks off with a flashback: 20-odd years ago, Buzz Legare vanished while on a fishing trip. The fallout of his disappearance and presumed death appears in his 30-something children: Hannah drinks too much, her business is failing, and her husband has kicked her out after her repeated adultery. Hannah's gay brother, Palmer, refuses to let anyone get too close — he's ready to end his yearlong relationship when his partner brings up the idea of adopting a baby. After Hannah injures herself trying to break into her husband's apartment, she heads home to Charleston, S.C., to get her life back on track, but instead finds herself pursuing the past. Damaged and vulnerable, she zigzags through her past — an old boyfriend, questions about her parents' fidelity, and finally facing down where her unwillingness to accept love has gotten her. There's nothing unique about the premise — woman in crisis goes home and discovers herself by exhuming the past — but Crouch (Girls in Trucks) handles it deftly; her dialogue is snappy, the situations darkly funny, Hannah and Palmer are unlikable but sympathetic, and there's just enough mystery to keep the pages turning." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Hannah is not exactly a likable character, but she reflects enough humor in her brokenness to be memorable. Crouch's second novel sounds formulaic, but as in her best-selling Girls in Trucks, she writes with a dark, twisty, but approachable Southern charm." Library Journal
"Sunny outlook with enough clouds to keep it interesting." Kirkus Reviews
"Katie Crouch is an American original. Men and Dogs is an opus of the struggle between a daughter and her father and the wounds and jubilation carried from that relationship into marriage and adulthood. It is, in turns, poignant, revealing, hilarious and sad. This is a great pick for book clubs everywhere! Katie's novel will not only inspire a lively discussion, it will ignite one!" Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Big Stone Gap, Lucia, Lucia, and Very Valentine
"In Men and Dogs, Katie Crouch serves up a heartfelt reminder to Southerners-gone-astray why we love the South, why we left it, and why we inevitably return. Smart, stubborn, and hell-bent on self-destruction, Hannah is the kind of heroine you want to be friends with in your other, messier, more interesting life. Best experienced on a porch swing (mimosas optional), this novel is a winner." Michelle Richmond, author of The Year of Fog
"Prepare to have your heart broken while laughing out loud at this breathtaking, scathingly sardonic novel....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. (Grade: Four stars)" People Magazine
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Girls in Trucks comes a hilarious and moving novel about loyalty, family, and a prodigal daughter's return home.
In April of 1985, Buzz Legare went fishing. The next day all that was found was his boat and his waiting, faithful dog.
Twenty years later, his daughter Hannah still finds hope in believing, alone among her family, that he's still alive somewhere. She has a smart husband, a thriving business, a beautiful home in San Francisco-and a huge hole in her troubled heart. True to her trademark talent for self-sabotage, she finds herself one starry night climbing up the fire escape in a desperate (and drunken) attempt to win back her own husband--and failing disastrously.
Slightly worse for the wear, Hannah returns to Charleston to salve her wounds. There, old loves, unrepented crimes, and family legends are stirred up from the dust. Hannah's brother Palmer, the stoic with a secret of his own, cannot dissuade her from a manic search to uncover clues to the past, and they will both face shocking discoveries that lead them to reconcile their very different notions of loyalty and blind faith.
As she did so memorably in her bestselling debut, Girls in Trucks, Katie Crouch has created another great voice--spiky, tender, and hilarious--in the screwball heroine Hannah Legare. Much like Julia Roberts in My Best Friend's Wedding, Hannah follows the misguided impulses of a heart that's in the right place.
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.
About the Author
Katie Crouch is the author of the bestselling novel Girls in Trucks. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Observer, Tin House, and McSweeney's. She lives in San Francisco, a city filled with men and dogs, one or two of which reside with her from time to time.
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