Friday, June 18, 2010

Men and Dogs - Katie Crouch

Men and Dogs is the second novel from Katie Crouch, following her success with Girls in Trucks.

Hannah is eleven when her father Buzz takes the family dog Tucker and heads out to go fishing in their hometown harbour of Charleston, South Carolina. The dog is found adrift in the boat and Buzz is presumed drowned. A body was never recovered.

Hannah is now thirty five. She is married and loves her husband, but continually cheats on him. On her latest mission of reconciliation she falls from a fire escape. Her husband John and her mother Daisy agree it would be best for all involved if she went home to Charleston to recover. Her older brother Palmer has also stayed on in Charleston.

Their father's disappearance has shaped both Hannah and Palmer's lives in different ways. Hannah cannot accept that he is dead. Her time at home is spent reconnecting with her past and trying to figure out where her father has gone and why. Palmer is also dealing with the past. He cannot commit in his relationships and always keeps his partners at arm's length. Daisy is the only one has accepted Buzz's death and moved on. She married Dewitt and is happy with her life.

Crouch has crafted a mesmerizing story that explores how much a childhood loss or trauma shapes our future path. Her examination of the relationships between Hannah, her brother, her former lover and her stepfather are especially poignant.

Hannah is an interesting character. I found her take on things refreshing, but at the same time didn't really gravitate towards her, despite knowing the reasons for her development. I actually found DeWitt to be the character I liked the most.

Always there is the question of what really happened to Buzz.

I listened to this book in audio format. The reader was Gabra Zackman and she was excellent. Her voice was clear and nicely modulated. She conveyed the emotions of Hannah and Palmer very well. Her southern accent was believable. I don't know if I would have enjoyed reading this book as much as I did listening to it. Sometimes a story translates better vocally and I think this is one of them.

Listen to an excerpt of Men and Dogs. You can find Katie on Facebook.

Want to listen to it yourself? You have until Sunday Jun 27th at 6 pm EST to enter to win a copy!


Book Bird Dog said...

Sounds like a good story and mystery.

Anonymous said...

I've always been interested in books with family drama. I'm adding this to the list of books I hope to read some day. ;)


Linda said...

Listening to this novel on CD sounds like a wonderful way to while away the hours on a road trip - the only way I enjoy driving to visit my daughter.

bermudaonion said...

I've got this in print and now wish I had the audio version instead. I'd love to hear the accent.

Missy B. said...

I've never listened to an audio book....I guess I just like the feel of a book in my hands. This sounds like a good story, one that I would enjoy. I think I'll enter your giveaway...I'd love to try something new!

Have a great weekend!