Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch

Author: Katie Crouch
Audio CD's: 7
Genre: Fiction

When  Hannah Legare was 11 years old, her beloved father leaves on a fishing trip early one morning and is never heard from again.  Buzz Legare was everything to Hannah and his disappearance/drowning is the one event  that defines the rest of her life. Hannah's mother and brother, Palmer, were able to move on - but Hannah has always held on to the hope of one day finding him once again, especially since his body was never found. 

Now, at 35, Hannah lives in San Francisco, as far away from Charleston Harbor and her family as she can get, the business that she and her husband, Jon, own is on the brink of bankruptcy and after some crazy stalker-like antics on her part, her husband not only advises that he's leaving her, but that he's also sending her to her mother's for some time to recuperate... physically and mentally.  While back in her hometown she gets the crazy idea that now is the perfect time to further investigate her father's death and hopefully get some real answers this time around.

Men and Dogs is told not only through Hannah's eyes, but also through Palmer's, Hannah's older brother.  Through them you learn of their father's death/disappearance and how it affected not only each of them, but their family and even the community.  Through them you also meet a slew of characters - who were all quirky and special in their own way.  Hannah's mother, Daisy, who although she's married to the wealthiest man in town, still shops at thrift stores.  DeWitt - the stepfather, who was one of these loud and boisterous characters.  Every time he walked onto a page I couldn't help but smile at his nicknames for Hannah.  There was Virginia, Hannah's old school teacher and the mother to her first boyfriend (the one she literally ran away from).  Through Palmer you also learn of his sexuality (he's gay) and how that is affected by small-town life.  Tom, his partner wants to adopt a baby and Palmer is too comfortable with his life to have the want for children and the complications they bring.

I enjoy character driven novels and this story is exactly that.  The differences between Hannah and Palmer and how they were both affected by their father's death is the main focus.  Hannah is loud and in-your-face not to mention she is stalking everyone for answers while Palmer is stoic and holds everything inside himself.  And although she is the only one who speaks of their father and his death/disappearance on a constant basis - she is not the only one who has not been able to forget and/or get over the event.  

I enjoyed hearing Gabra Zackman's voice since my version was an audiobook - I found her voice soothing and I think she did a great job with intonation and accents to differentiate the many characters.  This is the perfect read to grab on your way out to the beach or pool.  It is a fast-paced story with plenty of quirky characters and a witty sense of humor.  

My Rating:


Samantha (A Dream of Books) said...

I have this one on my wishlist. It sounds great :)

Unknown said...

I have this one on my shelf, and I haven't been able to get to it. Great review, thanks!

Tales of Whimsy said...

I think I'll pass. But thanks for the review. You helped me really see the book and determine if it was for me or not :)

Emidy @ Une Parole said...

I enjoy character-driven books, too, so I'll have to give this one a shot! I really like the cover for some reason, also. Fabulous review!

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

I admit to enjoying a good audio book.

I'm not sure I'd pick this one up, but it does sound good.

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