Katie Crouch's latest book Men and Dogs was a fun read - full of things I enjoy most in a good book.
Hannah Legare is a grown woman who drinks too much, cheats on her husband and is still unable to come to terms with the loss of her father who disappeared in April of 1985 from his boat without a trace. Hannah leaves her home in San Francisco and visits her hometown in South Carolina, full of Southern charm. Because Hannah has always believed there was more to her dad's disappearance than she knew, she sets about learning a bit more about her past, uncovering some old photos that explain more than she realized. While there Hannah also manages to evaluate some things in her past - like her relationships with her high school boyfriend and stepfather. Hannah's brother, Parker, is also affected by his father's disappearance. Although he has always believed his father is dead (unlike Hannah who continues to look for him wherever she goes) he is a professional gay man who finds it hard to actually commit in a relationship -ending them when things appear to be getting more serious. While he seems stable in comparison to Hannah, there is no mistake that he has also been affecte by his father's departure, and has felt since childhood that he was responsible for it.
I loved the Southern setting. Crouch reeled me in almost instantly with her references to Hannah's childhood in 1985, a year I remember rather well, being just a year or two older than Hannah. When Men In Truck's, Crouch's first book, came out, I will admit I didn't just love it. In fact, I wasn't sure I was going to read Men and Dogs, but fell in love with the cover, and felt like perhaps I had not given Men In Trucks a fair shot. (I remember this as one of the books I read while running on the treadmill, and perhaps the half hour long snippets of reading with several days in-between was not the best reading experience for this book).
I ended up thoroughly enjoying this book. I would happily pass this on to friends looking for a good read, and I will be looking for Crouch's next book with anticipation.
Visit Crouch's website.