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Men and Dogs

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When Hannah Legare was eleven, her father went on a fishing trip in Charleston Harbor and never came back. And while most of the town and her family accepted Buzz's disappearance, Hannah remained steadfastly convinced of his imminent return. More then twenty years later, Hannah's new life in San Francisco is unraveling. Her marriage is on the rocks; her business is bankrupt When Hannah Legare was eleven, her father went on a fishing trip in Charleston Harbor and never came back. And while most of the town and her family accepted Buzz's disappearance, Hannah remained steadfastly convinced of his imminent return. More then twenty years later, Hannah's new life in San Francisco is unraveling. Her marriage is on the rocks; her business is bankrupt. After a disastrous attempt to win back her husband, she is shipped to her mother's home to "rest up," and she is once again sucked into the mystery of her missing father. Suspecting that those closest to her are keeping secrets -- including Palmer, her emotionally closed, well-mannered brother, and Warren, the beautiful boyfriend she left behind -- Hannah sets out on an uproarious, dangerous quest that will test the whole family's concept of loyalty and faith.


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When Hannah Legare was eleven, her father went on a fishing trip in Charleston Harbor and never came back. And while most of the town and her family accepted Buzz's disappearance, Hannah remained steadfastly convinced of his imminent return. More then twenty years later, Hannah's new life in San Francisco is unraveling. Her marriage is on the rocks; her business is bankrupt When Hannah Legare was eleven, her father went on a fishing trip in Charleston Harbor and never came back. And while most of the town and her family accepted Buzz's disappearance, Hannah remained steadfastly convinced of his imminent return. More then twenty years later, Hannah's new life in San Francisco is unraveling. Her marriage is on the rocks; her business is bankrupt. After a disastrous attempt to win back her husband, she is shipped to her mother's home to "rest up," and she is once again sucked into the mystery of her missing father. Suspecting that those closest to her are keeping secrets -- including Palmer, her emotionally closed, well-mannered brother, and Warren, the beautiful boyfriend she left behind -- Hannah sets out on an uproarious, dangerous quest that will test the whole family's concept of loyalty and faith.

30 review for Men and Dogs

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book was an utter disappointment. Although it was decently written, I found myself caring more for the supporting characters than the main character. The last chapter is what pissed me off.....she was such a wishy-washy character, which is not what you expect out of the end. There was no resolution, and the story ended the way it started, leaving the reader to believe that the main character learned nothing throughout the book. Blech...don't bother with this one!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I have a hard time with books where I don't like the protagonist. In this case, a 30-something internet tycoon - Hannah - who is a serial adulterer whose poor husband finally leaves her. She stalks him, climbs a balcony to spy on him and his new girlfriend and falls three stories (only to slightly bruise her ribs and impale herself a little bit with a nail to the head - PLEASE!!). She is sent home from California, the land of all good things, to Charleston, where her mother, stepfather and gay b I have a hard time with books where I don't like the protagonist. In this case, a 30-something internet tycoon - Hannah - who is a serial adulterer whose poor husband finally leaves her. She stalks him, climbs a balcony to spy on him and his new girlfriend and falls three stories (only to slightly bruise her ribs and impale herself a little bit with a nail to the head - PLEASE!!). She is sent home from California, the land of all good things, to Charleston, where her mother, stepfather and gay brother try to care for her. She continues poor judgment in her behavior at home, where it is revealed that her father disappeared from a boat when she was eleven, leaving only the dog behind in the boat. She still thinks he is alive and coming back after all those years, despite everyone else in the world accepting that he is dead. So, poor Hannah has an issue with being left - thus, she left her beloved high school beau (who she reconnects with in Charleston, leaves her family in Charleston to rarely return, and leaves her hubby again and again by cheating with her yoga instructor, the milkman, etc., etc. She treats her family very poorly, acts like an eleven year old throughout her visit and finally realizes all her beliefs about the past were incorrect (this she finally accomplishes by re-creating her father's last voyage, complete with dog, almost getting run over by a Carnival cruise ship). Although not bad writing style, the characters are stereotyped, the symbolism dealt out with a heavy hand (Hannah has a closet "womb" that she retreats to when stressed or depressed). I will not be reading any other books by this author.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. workaday mp3 - looks like an angsty affair, still, with so much to do it'll sing along in the background - and there is always the option of shouting out 'next' if it really doesn't suit. Not much later - "NEXT" hahahahahah Really not a Bettie type book at all. Blurb - 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 drink workaday mp3 - looks like an angsty affair, still, with so much to do it'll sing along in the background - and there is always the option of shouting out 'next' if it really doesn't suit. Not much later - "NEXT" hahahahahah Really not a Bettie type book at all. Blurb - 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..

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Thoughts From an Evil Overlord)

    Men and Dogs. What a great title for an interesting, sometimes hilarious, and always thought-provoking novel. Often I am given books to review where the title or the cover art don't make sense to me after reading the book, but Katie Crouch and the folks at Little Brown have hit the nail on the head with both on this one. The men in the heroine's life and her disparate relationships with each are the forefront of the story, and the beautiful photo of a young woman in a fishing boat with her back Men and Dogs. What a great title for an interesting, sometimes hilarious, and always thought-provoking novel. Often I am given books to review where the title or the cover art don't make sense to me after reading the book, but Katie Crouch and the folks at Little Brown have hit the nail on the head with both on this one. The men in the heroine's life and her disparate relationships with each are the forefront of the story, and the beautiful photo of a young woman in a fishing boat with her back to us is representative of the central mystery which she is trying to answer. Like many people, Hannah Legare's life has been formed completely around an event from her childhood, the disappearance or death of her father while he was out in his fishing boat. I say death or disappearance because although the incident is investigated and declared a death, without a body Hannah has always refused to believe that her childhood hero is gone. Her brother and mother move on, but Hannah's insistence on bringing up the topic, planning her life around his possible return, and resistance to her mother's new husband crack their relationship almost to the breaking point. Now it's twenty years later and Hannah lives in San Francisco,on the opposite coast from her family, and rarely visits. Her once thriving business built with her husband, Jon, is bankrupt, and Hannah's out of control behavior with men has pushed her saddened and defeated husband to leave her. After a horrible accident while Hannah is trying to win back Jon, she is "sent" to her mother's in North Carolina to recuperate physically and hopefully mentally. Being back in Charleston brings out even more wackiness in Hannah, and she begins an investigation into her father's disappearance, looking through old photos, questioning her family and long-time family friends. Instead of answers she gets more confused, and the and the small webs that had begun to repair the cracks start falling apart as she alienates and frustrates those around her. Many interesting, well-thought-out characters live in Hannah's world of Charleston, NC. I especially enjoyed her stepfather, DeWitt, a boisterous good ol' boy who wants everyone to have fun and enjoys writing checks for Hannah and her mother Daisy. Daisy, wife to one of Charleston's wealthiest men and organizer of numerous charity events is hysterical in her thrift-store clothing and frequent Goodwill shopping, especially seen through Hannah's eyes. I enjoyed the relationship Hannah has with her former teacher, Virginia, who is also the mother of Hannah's high school boyfriend. Virginia is an artsy, earthy woman, who takes time to listen to Hannah both as a teen and an adult, and tries to guide her in her decisions, to little avail. The side story of Hannah's brother Palmer, with his separate remembrances of their father's death and his own childhood show that she is not the only one who has held on to childhood events, but instead of yelling his issues from the rooftops Palmer holds everything in and, like Hannah, is destroying his relationship with his partner, Tom. This makes Hannah, who might have been a somewhat unsympathetic heroine, less raw, as I was able to understand that she was not the only one hanging on to the event, she was just the loudest about it. Hannah is bright, creative, and funny, sometimes an ostrich with her head in the sand and others an owl hooting questions into the night. While she is spouting questions and theories all over town, she is ignoring the fact that her husband has filed for divorce, she hasn't done any work for their business in several months, and when informed of their bankrupt status she just ignores that too. As a professional procrastinator I can definitely relate to that (!) as well as wanting to ask questions about family events that happened before I was born or before I was old enough to remember, albeit nothing as huge as a disappearing father. Hannah ends up with some answers to her questions, and some insight into the behaviors of others, and eventually gets her act together so she can begin building a new life as a single woman in a new career. Katie Crouch's Men and Dogs is thoughtful and quirky, with quick-witted descriptions and interesting characters, making it a story that will appeal to many.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Allyson Langston

    I think if I lived in or had any ties whatsoever to San Francisco or the Carolinas, I would probably have appreciated this novel more. Hannah, the protagonist, is 35 and a complete mess: alcoholic, adulterous, immature, and totally self-indulgent--lost and stuck in a teenage frame of mind. I kept trying to feel sorry for her, but at the end, just wanted to slap her upside the head and tell her to grow up. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood when I read it??? Her gay brother, Palmer, isn't much bett I think if I lived in or had any ties whatsoever to San Francisco or the Carolinas, I would probably have appreciated this novel more. Hannah, the protagonist, is 35 and a complete mess: alcoholic, adulterous, immature, and totally self-indulgent--lost and stuck in a teenage frame of mind. I kept trying to feel sorry for her, but at the end, just wanted to slap her upside the head and tell her to grow up. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood when I read it??? Her gay brother, Palmer, isn't much better--and their mom, Daisy, couldn't really exist and survive in Charleston. On the upside, I feel much more in control of my life than I did before I read the novel--if you are feeling overwhelmed or out of control, this novel will have a settling effect and let you realize just how much worse it could be!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jinky

    Beautiful cover (hold on.. something mysterious, fearful is coming) that had me snatching the book! But that's about the best part of the book! The plot sounded intriguing... Hannah, girl at 11yo looses her dad (declared dead but no body), 24yrs later she still believes her dad's alive and seeks to find out the truth, and in-between she lead a messed up life. Hence, the rated PG13 language and content. She was wishy-washy protagonist and I think she was suppose to get it all together in the end Beautiful cover (hold on.. something mysterious, fearful is coming) that had me snatching the book! But that's about the best part of the book! The plot sounded intriguing... Hannah, girl at 11yo looses her dad (declared dead but no body), 24yrs later she still believes her dad's alive and seeks to find out the truth, and in-between she lead a messed up life. Hence, the rated PG13 language and content. She was wishy-washy protagonist and I think she was suppose to get it all together in the end but I don't think she did. The book didn't give me the Southern kind of book feel at all either. I do like the side story of her gay brother Palmer and his lover Tom ...a more substantial story there. **Find this review and more at Jinky is reading

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I don't know. It's hard to truly like a book when the main character is a self-indulged, spoiled attention whore. I mean, yes, poor baby girl was abandoned by her father, who might or might not be dead. And yet I had zero sympathy for her, which is a good indication that she wasn't drawn in a particularly effective light. Why three stars? Palmer. He's just as messed up from the past as Hannah, but expressed in different ways, and I truly felt for him. And one moment in the book just took my breat I don't know. It's hard to truly like a book when the main character is a self-indulged, spoiled attention whore. I mean, yes, poor baby girl was abandoned by her father, who might or might not be dead. And yet I had zero sympathy for her, which is a good indication that she wasn't drawn in a particularly effective light. Why three stars? Palmer. He's just as messed up from the past as Hannah, but expressed in different ways, and I truly felt for him. And one moment in the book just took my breath away: When he is told that he, in fact, is NOT the reason his dad disappeared. After carrying that certainty his entire life, the certainty that shaped his entire personhood, it turns out to be false. Sure, you knew it would be false. But it resonated for me. As someone whose own parent actually DID abandon her, I grew up feeling responsible somehow, even though there's no way it was my fault. (I was 5 when my mother left.) It was only when, during an offhanded conversation, that I learned my mother had abandoned another child before me, a sibling whose gender I don't even know, that everything changed for me. Despite 30+ years of feeling responsible for my OWN abandonment, in that instant I realized my mother was crazy and it was not in any way my fault.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jacquelyn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really didn't care for this book, but it was an easy read so I kept going. Firstly, I found the writing to be weak in general. None of the characters were very well-developed, although the main character, Hannah, was enough so to make me know I didn't like her rather quickly. But honestly, why on page 198 of a 277-page book am I getting further description of what she looks like? Felt a bit late in the game for that. The dialogue was also unrealistic. There were several occasions where I would I really didn't care for this book, but it was an easy read so I kept going. Firstly, I found the writing to be weak in general. None of the characters were very well-developed, although the main character, Hannah, was enough so to make me know I didn't like her rather quickly. But honestly, why on page 198 of a 277-page book am I getting further description of what she looks like? Felt a bit late in the game for that. The dialogue was also unrealistic. There were several occasions where I would read what one character said to another and thought, people just don't talk like this. There were also parts of the book that simply didn't seem to be as fleshed out as much as I anticipated. For example, the breakup between Hanna's brother, Palmer, and his boyfriend Tom takes up only a page or two--and he does it via phone. It felt rushed and just thrown in there. Maybe that was done in an attempt to further bring out Palmer's personality--that he is rushed, he disregards relationships and so on, but I think there could have/should have been more to it. Overall, I just didn't find the storyline to be terribly interesting and the fact that I didn't care of the main character made it even less enjoyable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Blech. Don't bother...unless you like filth.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gwendolyn

    Bllaaah. Didn't like the main character. Nothing happened.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    According to the author, this work of fiction was actually born out of a true story. Her great-grandfather “went fishing in North Carolina in 1913 and never came back. There was no bad weather or anything, but all his family found was his little fishing boat floating in the river. He didn’t seem depressed and wasn’t an unreliable person in any way. He just disappeared.” Eleven-year-old Hannah Legare and her forty-one-year-old father, Buzz, are out fishing in her Dad’s flat-bottomed aluminum boat. According to the author, this work of fiction was actually born out of a true story. Her great-grandfather “went fishing in North Carolina in 1913 and never came back. There was no bad weather or anything, but all his family found was his little fishing boat floating in the river. He didn’t seem depressed and wasn’t an unreliable person in any way. He just disappeared.” Eleven-year-old Hannah Legare and her forty-one-year-old father, Buzz, are out fishing in her Dad’s flat-bottomed aluminum boat. Even Tucker, the family dog is on board for this excursion. Buzz was a doctor and always quizzing Hannah on little facts like: “How many bones are in the human body?” “206”, Hannah would reply. “How many cells?” “One hundred trillion”, answered Hannah. She was a smart girl, a studious student and planned to become a doctor just like her Dad. Daisy, Hannah’s mother, is a responsible woman and mother to Hannah and her brother Palmer after their father, Buzz, disappeared 20 years ago. Everywhere Hannah goes she searches the crowds for her Dad but all she ever sees is different people with different body parts resembling her Dad. A man with his shoulders, another with his gait, and another with his nose, but she never finds “him” in one person. Both Daisy and Palmer have let go, given up and moved on. After therapy and counselling her mother remarried within the year. Hannah has never quite been able to forgive her for that. Hannah just has too many unanswered questions like: “How does one fall off a boat on a calm Spring evening? Why did no one else see her father out in the harbour, and why was he fishing on a Monday at twilight?” “And, if he drowned, why was no body ever found, and why was the dog still there?” Hannah’s persistence and constant looking caused a riff in the family so after high school Hannah felt it best to just leave. She has only been back to Charleston four times for Christmas and a funeral. She eventually met and married Jon but theirs isn’t a perfect marriage by far. This was a hilarious, affecting and wholly original tale of siblings trying to reckon with their flaws, featuring a heroine as exasperating, magnetic, and breathtakingly real as family itself.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Men and Dogs was a pretty serious audiobook that brought us into the life of Hannah Legare when she basically hits rock bottom. Hannah was married and had a very successful on-line business but somehow managed to lose it all by never fully accepting her father's absence in her life. After a life-threatening accident Hannah finds herself back home in Charleston being nursed back to health by her family that she hasn't seen in years. Upon arriving at her childhood home she starts to wonder once aga Men and Dogs was a pretty serious audiobook that brought us into the life of Hannah Legare when she basically hits rock bottom. Hannah was married and had a very successful on-line business but somehow managed to lose it all by never fully accepting her father's absence in her life. After a life-threatening accident Hannah finds herself back home in Charleston being nursed back to health by her family that she hasn't seen in years. Upon arriving at her childhood home she starts to wonder once again about the disappearance of her father. She has always believed that her father is still alive somewhere and throughout the novel new things come to light about her parents that help to give her a different and clearer perspective on her own life. Hannah's brother Palmer was a very interesting character in this novel. He was a local veterinarian that also happened to be gay. Since his father's disappearance a piece of Palmer seems to be missing also, as he can't seem to maintain a long-term romantic relationship. Where Hannah seems to lose control of her life in general, Palmer seems to be afraid of the implications of love. I loved the journey that this book took me on, giving me insight into the lives that both Hannah and Palmer led. We see how the decisions that they made when they were younger shaped them into the adults that they have become. By not accepting the truth about their lives, they found themselves living in a way that wasn't really living at all, but just getting by. I enjoyed listening to this audiobook and thought that Gabra Zackman did a good job narrating. I've read several mixed reviews of this book so although you should know this book isn't for everyone, something about this one just connected with me. With themes of loss, grieving, and acceptance I think this would also make a great book club selection. I can even admit that with the serious content of this book it even made me laugh once and awhile. This was my first book by Katie Crouch and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bridgit Morgan

    I don't know what was worse: the stilted writing, the protagonist cheating on her husband a million times and still being deemed a good person, the protagonist thinking her brother's homosexuality is a "flaw"... it was all shit.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Lee Riley

    I was having lunch with a group of friends last week, and one of the ladies gave me a book she’d discovered for a dollar. For only a dollar she’d figured she couldn’t go wrong, and when I took it out of her hand, my thought was; free, how could I go wrong? The jacket verbiage informs the would-be reader that the story is about the heroine and her efforts to find out what really happened to her father, when he disappeared while on a fishing trip with the family dog, two decades earlier. We are ta I was having lunch with a group of friends last week, and one of the ladies gave me a book she’d discovered for a dollar. For only a dollar she’d figured she couldn’t go wrong, and when I took it out of her hand, my thought was; free, how could I go wrong? The jacket verbiage informs the would-be reader that the story is about the heroine and her efforts to find out what really happened to her father, when he disappeared while on a fishing trip with the family dog, two decades earlier. We are taken through memories of a dysfunctional childhood, memories far too long left unquestioned and unresolved. The author is going to share the trials and discoveries of Hannah, our protagonist, on her trip of discovery and healing. Ok that sounds good, should be entertaining. What I noticed from the very first line, is the authors penchant for writing sentences that are very staccato. I felt like I was marching in step through the pages. For me as a reader, there is a big difference between cleanly constructed sentences and chopped robotic lines. It felt like the editor had gone through and cut out all the fat. Advising the author not to use so many conjunctions! I can imagine the advise; "Use the find function in Microsoft word and see how many times you’ve used as and was." Then there were sentences that ground at me like a fingernail on a chalkboard. Example; “Hannah, now thirty-five, remembers some details perfectly clearly…….” Or the following; “You broke a rib and fractured your skull slightly.” Slightly? Is that like being sorta pregnant? This wasn’t a terrible book, but I can see why it was a dollar. Review by Shelley Riley author of Casual Lies - A Triple Crown Adventure

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    I listened to the audiobook and I warmed to the voice but I didn't like Hannah. Get over it and move on with your life. When she takes the boat out with Palmer's dog to recreate the last cruise her father took it was time to lock her up and throw away the key. Grow up! When Hannah Legare was eleven, her father went on a fishing trip in Charleston Harbor and never came back. And while most of the town and her family accepted Buzz's disappearance, Hannah remained steadfastly convinced of his immine I listened to the audiobook and I warmed to the voice but I didn't like Hannah. Get over it and move on with your life. When she takes the boat out with Palmer's dog to recreate the last cruise her father took it was time to lock her up and throw away the key. Grow up! When Hannah Legare was eleven, her father went on a fishing trip in Charleston Harbor and never came back. And while most of the town and her family accepted Buzz's disappearance, Hannah remained steadfastly convinced of his imminent return. More then twenty years later, Hannah's new life in San Francisco is unraveling. Her marriage is on the rocks; her business is bankrupt. After a disastrous attempt to win back her husband, she is shipped to her mother's home to "rest up," and she is once again sucked into the mystery of her missing father. Suspecting that those closest to her are keeping secrets -- including Palmer, her emotionally closed, well-mannered brother, and Warren, the beautiful boyfriend she left behind

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    Men and Dogs's main character Hannah has been reviewed by some women as being pathetic, selfish and unrealistic. I would say she's a little complicated and screwed up like a lot of people I know. I find this novel to be a story of stunted growth after the life altering mysterious death of a father. Self-sabatoge is nothing new and yes, even women can be unfaithful and have issues with intimacy. Someone noted that 'maybe if she grew up in Charleston she would 'get it' better. I don't see that as Men and Dogs's main character Hannah has been reviewed by some women as being pathetic, selfish and unrealistic. I would say she's a little complicated and screwed up like a lot of people I know. I find this novel to be a story of stunted growth after the life altering mysterious death of a father. Self-sabatoge is nothing new and yes, even women can be unfaithful and have issues with intimacy. Someone noted that 'maybe if she grew up in Charleston she would 'get it' better. I don't see that as being relevent, a story should be able to reach you regardless of the setting. It is interesting that both Hannah and her gay brother have interpreted their father's mysterious death in ways that hinder their relationships. Men and Dogs is believable because of how screwed up they are. I was a little let down by the ending, but I liked that it wasn't some sickly sweet, all is SWELL novel where broken people are 'put back together again'. Enjoyed it

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shelly♥

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I did not like the writing style of this book. I don't know if it was the point of view, or just the overall quality of the writing. The story itself seemed to have a lot of potential, but I didn't find the main character likable in any way. And, as the story went on and the details of her life were revealed, she just seemed self-centered and lacked any real redeeming qualities. There were also some small details of the story that just really bugged me - the company they founded was all about se I did not like the writing style of this book. I don't know if it was the point of view, or just the overall quality of the writing. The story itself seemed to have a lot of potential, but I didn't find the main character likable in any way. And, as the story went on and the details of her life were revealed, she just seemed self-centered and lacked any real redeeming qualities. There were also some small details of the story that just really bugged me - the company they founded was all about sex toys, the role that sex takes in the lives of the characters (like that's what it's all about), and of course the political slant (yeah Obama). I read chick lit to get away from the politics of everyday life, and it's quite a turn off to me when any book takes it into consideration. While the economy was certainly a factor in a portion of the story, we didn't need to listen to the Bush bashing, or the touting of our current commander in chief. Not crucial to the story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Ross

    I opened the book with no expectations, never having heard of the author. After reading the first few pages I found myself wondering if this was a young adult selection. I kept going. I'm glad I did. The main character, Hannah, was instantly likeable. She had a self-effacing way about her that was laughable. She carried an internal dialogue, sometimes external, when talking to the furniture, that was quirky and insightful. All of the characters were crisp and real. I enjoyed watching her work th I opened the book with no expectations, never having heard of the author. After reading the first few pages I found myself wondering if this was a young adult selection. I kept going. I'm glad I did. The main character, Hannah, was instantly likeable. She had a self-effacing way about her that was laughable. She carried an internal dialogue, sometimes external, when talking to the furniture, that was quirky and insightful. All of the characters were crisp and real. I enjoyed watching her work through her process in her various disfunctional relationships. I suppose it could be argued that the book had a cookie-cutter ending, but who cares? It was a feel-good, fun, witty read. I was disappointed that I whizzed through it so quickly. I'll be reading more by Katie Crouch.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Szydlo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Hannah, now in her 30's, has never come to terms with the disappearance of her father when she was a child. After she makes a mess of her marriage, she returns to her childhood home to regroup. The book jacket advertises that Hannah "sets out on a quest to discover what really happened to her father", and mentions "family secrets". I really liked the author's writing style and felt she made the characters quite interesting. But I was disappointed that very little was revealed about the missing f Hannah, now in her 30's, has never come to terms with the disappearance of her father when she was a child. After she makes a mess of her marriage, she returns to her childhood home to regroup. The book jacket advertises that Hannah "sets out on a quest to discover what really happened to her father", and mentions "family secrets". I really liked the author's writing style and felt she made the characters quite interesting. But I was disappointed that very little was revealed about the missing father or the status of Hannah's marriage.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jami

    This is a 3.5 star for me. I see that a lot of the reviewers didn't like the main character, which impacted their ratings. While she is flawed, that makes her real. Life isn't always about the incredibly beautiful woman who gets the man of her dreams and has incredible sex forever after. Hannah makes mistakes - lots of them- and continues to live her life the best she can. I liked the writing and I was engaged enough to care what happened to the characters.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    This is one of those novels that draws you in from the beginning--there's a mysterious scene from the past to start it out and then it vaults you into the present--where things are troubled. The main character is really likeable in her totally messed up way and you really feel for her plight even though she is just making mistake after mistake. Put this one on your list for 2010 for sure.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Beth Kopine

    I really didn't like this book. My first mistake was thinking it was by the same person who wrote "A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing" - which I recall as a decent guilty pleasure. But this is not the same author. And it was just not a good read. But I finished it because it just makes the good books I read seem that much better.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tk0339

    like crouch's other book, i didn't like it. its about a girl who's father disappeared. never know if he died or just left. i waited for an answer, but never got one! in between was a bunch of silly storylines. not worth reading

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Read this to blurb...and was delighted! A reminder to Southerners-gone-astray of why we love the South, whey we left, and why we inevitably return...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Corrie

    Like many others, I found this book disappointing. It was humorous at times, but overall found the book lacking.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Perkimom

    Certainly not what I expected from the title. Needed one more page.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    No wonder why this book looked so familiar. I read it before,found it forgettable..as with the second attempt. NEXT!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brownd2

    quick easy read that is unfortunately not worth the effort

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    I started listening to this book, but gave up not far in. I didn't find the main character sympathetic. It's just not my kind of book, so I ditched it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    T.S. Reiger

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My sister-in-law loaned me Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch and I was excited to read it because I remember liking Crouch's debut novel Girls in Trucks when I was younger. Crouch's covers always appeal to me, which is why I picked up Girls in Trucks and why I was looking forward to Men and Dogs. I confess I don't remember much about Girls and Trucks, but I remember thinking it was a fun little book and a quick read.  Men and Dogs follows Hannah, a woman whose father went fishing when she was a pre-te My sister-in-law loaned me Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch and I was excited to read it because I remember liking Crouch's debut novel Girls in Trucks when I was younger. Crouch's covers always appeal to me, which is why I picked up Girls in Trucks and why I was looking forward to Men and Dogs. I confess I don't remember much about Girls and Trucks, but I remember thinking it was a fun little book and a quick read.  Men and Dogs follows Hannah, a woman whose father went fishing when she was a pre-teen and never returned. Hannah remains convinced that her father just ran off and will someday return. We are told up front the negative impact this has had on Hannah's life:  she is guarded and flighty, routinely cheats on her husband, and finds little comfort or closeness with friends or family.  While everything in her life is crumbling, she returns to her mother's home and reunites with her brother, an ex boyfriend, her ex boyfriend's mother, and a slew of forgettable characters that are supposedly holding pieces to the puzzle of her father's last days.  Crouch's easy style offers no real profound spin on plot or style. So you'd think without those she might offer something in regards to characters or the story itself.  Nope.  I will give Crouch credit in hooking me with the disappearance of  the dad. It's why I hung on even though I disliked nearly everyone in the story (except for her brother Palmer who I found way more interesting with his reminiscing of how he discovered he was gay, his first love, and how his father's disappearance and the journey of his sexuality made him who he is - Crouch missed the boat on the real story). The father was the key to the story and, yet, he took the backseat and seemed to be an afterthought to what was actually happening. It seemed Crouch was even confused or bored with the story because nothing develops in regards to the father's disappearance or death, Hannah's sense of morality, her development as a character, the reunion with an old flame, or anything else. I ended this book with essentially the same story that I started with.  Ugh. No dice, people. 

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