Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the bestselling Girls in Trucks
, a sad, wry testament to the beauty and recklessness of youth.
The city of Grifonia, Italy, is swarming with secrets — thousands of years of dark, murderous secrets.
Taz, a British student who has just arrived for her year abroad, thinks that she will spend her time in Italy sipping wine and taking in the rolling Umbrian hills. But she soon falls in with a cabal of posh, reckless girls — the B4 — who turn her quaint fantasies into an erotic and dangerous rush through the darkest realms of friendship and love. Abroad is a chilling parable of modern girlhood from an author who “from her opening line...grabs you and never lets go” (People).
Not since Donna Tartt's The Secret History have we been treated to such an addictive tale of tumultuous adolescence. We see Taz scared and alone, but hungry for new experience and piqued by the thrill of living abroad. We see her roommate, the plainspoken American Claire, who worries about Taz's motives and expresses sincere concern for her safety — but everything changes when they fall for the same man.
And then there's what we don't see — the perils that lurk around the corner. We don't see the secrets that friends — and lovers — keep from one another. And we don't see the force that is bigger than Taz, bigger than her friends and loves, a force that seems to be propelling them all toward a dark, awful end. Inspired by real events but tackled with grace and sharpness by a master storyteller, this is Katie Crouch at her finest.
"A mystery based on the Amanda Knox saga unfolds in this strong fifth novel from the author of Girls in Trucks. Tabitha ('Taz') Deacon, an Irish student studying abroad in Grifonia, Italy, finds herself caught up in the glamorous lives of a trio of beautiful, and close, fellow students while also nurturing a friendship with her quirky American flatmate, Claire. As Taz spends more time with the Brit Four Society the nickname bestowed upon her quartet by its leader, Jenny Cole she becomes increasingly aware of tension beneath the surface. Why don't the girls let Taz pay for anything? How do they know people in such positions of power? Why do the other girls seem afraid of Jenny? And at the center of the plot is the beautiful, odd Claire, who will be inextricably bound to Taz's fateful experience. Taz's friendships develop and then unravel against a backdrop of ancient history, in a town that has plenty of its own underlying tension. The similarities to the Amanda Knox story are myriad, and at times distracting, but Crouch explores an overshadowed element of that case: the victim, her thoughts and dreams and mistakes, as well as those she'll never be able to have or make. 'We were all alive, and we loved and hated and lived brilliant, messy existences,' Taz says. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“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 artists 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
About the Author
Katie Crouch is the New York Times bestselling author of Girls in Trucks, among other novels. She contributes to The Guardian, McSweeneys, Tin House, Slate, the Rumpus, and Salon. A MacDowell fellow, Crouch teaches at San Francisco State University and lives in Bolinas, California.