From 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.)
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Following her embraced debut, Girls in Trucks (2008), Crouch offers another southern tale in which Hannah Legare finds herself back in her hometown, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, as her marriage, business, and life in San Francisco crumble. She soon begins to puzzle over an old mystery: her father Buzz’s mysterious disappearance more than 20 years earlier. Hannah retraces old ground, hoping to glean insights from the recollections of her mother, stepfather, brother, and family friends. Yet most residents of the town prefer to remember Buzz fondly, and view his disappearance during a routine fishing expedition as a tragic accident. Hannah, however, is still haunted by her father’s absence and the thought of the family dog drifting alone in the boat. Her quest to discover her father’s true fate provides clues to Hannah’s current problems, including her trouble being faithful to her husband, even as she realizes she may find information she never wanted to know. At least she will finally begin to piece together her own story. --Katherine Boyle