Sunday, April 06, 2008

Pg. 69: Katie Crouch's "Girls in Trucks"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Katie Crouch's Girls in Trucks.

About the book, from the publisher:
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 leaves South Carolina for a life in New York City. Th ere, 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 a narrative voice that is astonishing and irresistible—a true, sweet, and wise voice that heralds the arrival of an exciting new talent.
Among the early praise for Girls in Trucks:
“Wise, wry and heartbreaking.”
Publishers Weekly

“Gentle humor and sharp observation couched in straightforward prose with none of the preening preciosity so often seen in Southern fiction.”

“There are more gasps, sobs, laughs and surprises in these pages than in most people's entire bookshelves. Love never felt so sharp or real as in Katie Crouch's debut.”
—Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli

“Katie Crouch's hip and saucy debut is exquisite, the best kind of book out there: It seduces you into inhaling it while at the same time begging to be savored. Perfect for beach, bus or rehab.”
—Karen Karbo, author of How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living From Kate the Great

Girls in Trucks is an extraordinary first novel, one that I'm betting will win the hearts of every reader who has ever sought love or dodged it, and anyone who just plain likes to read a book that's savvy, funny-and-sad, wise, and beautifully written. Katie Crouch has the best ear for dialogue I've come across in years; and she knows how to tell a story that catches us up and spirits us into a world that's achingly familiar but full of surprises. Wow.”
—Josephine Humphreys, author of Rich in Love and Nowhere Else on Earth

"Sarah Walters, the heroine of Katie Crouch's Girls in Trucks, is one of those people who never quite fits in—not with her Southern gothic family, not with her comically flawed lovers, not with her for-better-or-worse society sisters. The question is, at what cost? In spare, confident prose, Crouch perfectly captures the peculiar joys and pain of a life lived mostly alone. She is an author who knows the hunger, and resilience, of the human heart. She's also damn funny.”
—Will Allison, author of What You Have Left

“It’s always exciting to hear a new voice – and Katie Crouch speaks in a funny, spiky, highly original voice that carries a reader happily along through this charming novel. Her “Camellia Girls” carry the sweet scent of Charleston, but they’ve got a lot more going on in their heads than most ladies of Southern fiction. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.”
—Mark Childress, author of One Mississippi and Crazy in Alabama

“In Girls in Trucks everything is cockeyed and wonderful--white-gloved drunks and stoned debutantes, the social rules of hot Charleston and icy New York. And at the center of it all Katie Crouch has brought us Sarah Walters, a devastatingly funny character trying to figure out not just how to manage the waltz, the cha-cha and various dances of heartbreak—but how to stay alive.”
—Victoria Redel, author of Loverboy
Read an excerpt from Girls in Trucks, and learn more about the author and her work at Katie Crouch's website and her blog.

Watch a video of Katie Crouch talking about her novel.

The Page 69 Test: Girls in Trucks.

--Marshal Zeringue