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Girls in Trucks Paperback – April 7, 2009
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Katie Crouch's debut novel, Girls in Trucks, is the hilarious, heartbreaking tale of Sarah Walters, a Southern debutante whose endless quest for love and fulfillment takes her around the world and back again. Orbiting Sarah is a cast of characters whose misadventures keep the story moving, even as readers grow frustrated with our heroine's inability to rise above her self-destructive tendencies and see the proverbial light.
We first meet Sarah and her friends Charlotte, Bitsy and Annie at the Charleston Cotillion Training School, where you're not allowed to dance with your cousin under any circumstances, and students are strictly forbidden from dancing the Shag. Sarah, who lives in the shadow of her brilliant, beautiful sister Eloise, is a reluctant debutante at best, and unsurprisingly heads East for college. She eventually lands in New York City, where she slaves away as an editorial assistant and ruins an impressive number of relationships with nice, and not so nice guys. Woven into Sarah's tales of romantic woe are Bitsy, Charlotte and Annie's struggles with infidelity, addiction and low self esteem, respectively. What saves this novel from becoming a cliched tale of failed romance and Southern excess is Crouch's amazing wit, which magically appears every time her characters' self-loathing threatens the affection we inevitably develop for each woman:
I loved the neighborhood: tiny streets peppered by angry painters with peacock-colored fingertips and sturdy women from Sicily clutching armfuls of warm bread. It took us a while to shed our Southern ways, but after a few months we figured out that one's natural height should not be enhanced by one's bangs.
Crouch's sharp wit and keen insight into the dynamics between mothers and daughters, sisters, friends and lovers make her an exciting newcomer to the Southern fiction genre. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
An unenthusiastic Southern debutante copes with the cruelties of postcollege New York life in Crouch's amusing debut. Sarah Walters is neither a misfit nor the queen of the Camellia Society cotillion scene growing up in Charleston, S.C. But when she and her fellow Camellias try to make a life in New York City, they find themselves coping in unexpectedly dangerous ways—from standard substance addictions to Sarah's fixation on preppy ex-boyfriend Max, a smooth and sadistic child of wealth. While the formula of young women in the big city seems destined for cliché, Crouch subverts most expectations; Sarah almost purposely misses an opportunity for happiness and stability with the gentle lover she met in Europe, and her ploy to ignite sparks with a college friend goes painfully awry. When Sarah goes back to Charleston and faces a perhaps too over-the-top family crisis (it involves suicide and lesbianism), the reader's left with the hope that the worst is over. Though this feels almost like a collection—each chapter its own story with its own narrative technique—Crouch's portrayal of a young woman's self-sabotage and the pitfalls facing young women in a cold world is wise, wry and heartbreaking. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
For example... we see Sarah's sister with an arrogant and somewhat verbally abusive boyfriend, and the next thing you know, she's getting married.. but to some other guy we don't know. Sarah goes half-way around the world to hook up with an old friend hoping to start a romance and maybe marry him. The relationship soon ends; Sarah gets sick on the bus to the airport when she leaves; wallah, in the next chapter she has a four-year old. HUH?
I thought the book took off well and I was really disappointed at how dull it ended up.
I liked the author's creativity, interesting voice, human insights, and lack of sentimentality. This is a White Girl Problems book, but it isn't especially self-indulgent, and it's got a lot of Americana-type elements that were really interesting. Anyone who likes literary books or wants intelligent, challenging chick lit should definitely look at this one.
I wasn't nutty about the way the timeline jumped around, and the structure of the chapters--which were more like New Yorker short stories--was a bit...not hard to follow, exactly, but sort of constraining. And while it was realistic, the nonlinear *feel* of the narrative and lack of resolution with the romances were a bit hard to take. It was hard watching the character get her heart broken over and over, and admittedly it wasn't quite what I expected from the blurb and the opening. The book also covers a massive time span, and that's both to its artistic advantage and sometimes to its narrative detriment--it kinda felt like the author skimmed over a lot.
I'm not sure whether I liked this book, but it was well-written, clever, and definitely piqued my interest in the author. I'd say it's worth a look if you're in the mood for something complex and different.
You can't really call them chick lit due to the fact that they are so intense. The main character always has issues...the main character is always and intensely and irrevocably and charmingly flawed in some way...and it is often a flaw that the reader can relate to in some way. This book was wonderfully written...if you think about other writers...and may I add that this book was about Southern women...so...if you think about other writers of that ilk...Anne Rivers Siddons for example and perhaps even Dorothea Benton Frank...Girls In Trucks is a newer version of that kind of story. Again, flawed girls...some of whom get unflawed and some of whom must live with their flaws forever. This book was such a good read...there was great stuff in it...high school days that everyone can relate to and college and life after college and boys and then men and then life and then death and then children and the entire full circle of a life...wondrous and finely written...loved loved loved it...a must read for readers of any kind of serious thought provoking women's fiction.
Most recent customer reviews
The story overall was a good story.Read more