Katie Crouch Girls in Trucks

ISBN 13: 9780316002110

Girls in Trucks

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9780316002110: Girls in Trucks
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Sarah Walters is a less-than-perfect debutante. She tries hard to follow the time-honored customs of the Charleston Camellia Society, as her mother and grandmother did, standing up straight in cotillion class and attending lectures about all the things that Camellias don't do. (Like ride with boys in pickup trucks.)
But Sarah can't quite ignore the barbarism just beneath all that propriety, and as soon as she can she decamps South Carolina for a life in New York City. There, she and her fellow displaced Southern friends try to make sense of city sophistication, to understand how much of their training applies to real life, and how much to the strange and rarefied world they've left behind.
When life's complications become overwhelming, Sarah returns home to confront with matured eyes the motto "Once a Camellia, always a Camellia"- and to see how much fuller life can be, for good and for ill, among those who know you best.
Girls in Trucks introduces an irresistable, sweet, and wise voice that heralds the arrival of an exciting new talent.

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Review:

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

About the Author:

Katie Crouch grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and studied writing at Brown and Columbia Universities. She lives in San Francisco.

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