Men and Dogs
  • Men and Dogs
  • Men and Dogs

Men and Dogs

3.4 55
by Katie Crouch
     
 

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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… See more details below

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Andrea Griffith
as in her best-selling Girls in Trucks, [Crouch] writes with a dark, twisty, but approachable Southern charm.
Library Journal
Meredith Maran
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.
People
Marie Claire
"[an] indulgent chick-lit read"
Complete Woman
"riveting.... dive right in."
Coastal Living
"[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."
Tricia Springstubb
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
Pam Kelley
Crouch's prose is crisp and full of engaging details.
The Charlotte Observer
Tricia Springstubb - The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"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.'"
Pam Kelley - The Charlotte Observer
"Crouch's prose is crisp and full of engaging details."
Meredith Maran - People
"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.
From the Publisher
"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.—Meredith Maran, People"

[an] indulgent chick-lit read"—Marie Claire"

riveting.... dive right in."—Complete Woman"

[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."—Coastal Living"

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.'"—Tricia Springstubb, The Cleveland Plain Dealer"

Crouch's prose is crisp and full of engaging details."—Pam Kelley, The Charlotte Observer"

as in her best-selling Girls in Trucks, [Crouch] writes with a dark, twisty, but approachable Southern charm."—Andrea Griffith, Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
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. (Apr.)
Library Journal
When Hannah Legare was a young girl, her father disappeared on a routine fishing trip. Years later, Hannah finally confronts her past when she is forced to recuperate at home in Charleston, SC, after a drunken accident in San Francisco. This is not Hannah's best moment. Her marriage is failing, owing to her serial adultery; her sex-toy business is tanking; she drinks too much; and she holds her mother, stepfather, and brother Palmer at a distinct distance. By digging into the past—her father's disappearance, the state of her parents' marriage, and unfinished business with her high school boyfriend—Hannah doesn't really discover the answers but learns just enough about love and herself that she can face her present reality. VERDICT 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. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10.]—Andrea Griffith, New York
Kirkus Reviews
The collapse of her marriage, not to mention a three-story fall, sends a woman back home to Charleston, S.C., to investigate her father's disappearance, in Crouch's sardonic second (Girls in Trucks, 2008). Hannah, 35, and her now-estranged husband Jon are sudden San Francisco millionaires-their online sex-toy business has taken off. Her drinking and infidelity have driven Jon away. Hannah suffered her most intractable emotional wound 24 years before, the day her father Buzz, a successful doctor, motored out alone into Charleston harbor, accompanied only by the family dog, Tucker. He never showed up for his son Palmer's soccer game that afternoon. His boat was found, containing only Tucker. Buzz's body was never recovered. His beautiful wife, Daisy, moved on and married DeWitt, Charleston's wealthiest man. Hannah has always compared her looks-she resembles her father, whose features look too big on her-unfavorably to her mother's. After drunkenly scaling Jon's apartment building to prove her love, and losing her footing thanks to a yapping terrier, she wakes up in the hospital. Jon and Daisy give her a choice: recuperation in Charleston, or rehab. Rooting among old photos in DeWitt's mansion, she discovers some unsettling clues. One snapshot shows Daisy and Buzz at a party with a group of stoned, hippie-like friends. Hovering in the background is DeWitt. But Daisy claimed not to have met DeWitt until after Buzz vanished. Palmer, a veterinarian, is quarreling with his boyfriend Tom over whether they want a child-as if gay life in Charleston wasn't challenging enough. In his mind, Palmer obsessively revisits his father's last day-was Buzz driven to suicide after accidentally spotting Palmerin flagrante with another boy? Only Hannah still thinks Buzz may be alive. But if he is, why did he abandon her? Although it's believable, one senses Hannah's quest for Buzz is merely a pretext-self-knowledge and redefinition of family are the real goals here. Sunny outlook with enough clouds to keep it interesting.
Irina Reyn
"Katie Crouch's novel-about hope, healing, and coming home Southern-style-is not only moving and suspenseful and wise, but hilarious! Suffused with sassy intelligence and warmth, Men and Dogs gripped me from the first page and wouldn't let go."
Michelle Richmond
"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."
Carmela Ciuraru - San Francisco Chronicle
"wonderful .... Despite her quick wit and caustic humor, Hannah is a haunted figure—she's never come to terms with the loss of her father, who disappeared without a trace on a fishing trip, presumed to have drowned, when she was 11 years old.... Crouch is too smart a writer to craft a damaged-woman-goes-home-again-and-finds-healing-and-redemption story. She knows that real life all too often disappoints.... Men and Dogs is an absorbing mystery.... Yet it's a compelling family drama, too, with enough dark humor tossed in at unexpected moments, thus avoiding melodrama. Crouch blends these elements seamlessly—and rather than deliver an eye-rolling happy ending, she gives us exactly the ending we hope for."
Carmela Ciuraru
wonderful .... Despite her quick wit and caustic humor, Hannah is a haunted figure—she's never come to terms with the loss of her father, who disappeared without a trace on a fishing trip, presumed to have drowned, when she was 11 years old.... Crouch is too smart a writer to craft a damaged-woman-goes-home-again-and-finds-healing-and-redemption story. She knows that real life all too often disappoints.... Men and Dogs is an absorbing mystery.... Yet it's a compelling family drama, too, with enough dark humor tossed in at unexpected moments, thus avoiding melodrama. Crouch blends these elements seamlessly—and rather than deliver an eye-rolling happy ending, she gives us exactly the ending we hope for.
San Francisco Chronicle
Lucinda Rosenfeld
"Katie Crouch is at her stealthy best in this tale of unresolved memories and early mid-life crisis. Men and Dogs sucks you in and won't let go."
Adriana Trigiani
"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!"
Marisa de los Santos
"Katie Crouch's great gifts-a wry, unflinching intelligence and the ability to create flawed, complicated characters-drive this story of a woman who must reckon with her past in order to move into her future. Hannah is exasperating, magnetic, and breathtakingly real."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316002141
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
04/07/2011
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
627,327
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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