Title: Girls in Trucks
Author: Katie Crouch
Release Date: April 7, 2008
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
From the Amazon.com product description:
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
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.
I didn’t know much about Girls in Trucks when I picked it up. All I really knew was that (1) it was about a Southern debutante and (2) the cover was eye-catching and gorgeous. After I got it home, I read the dust jacket and it ruined the book for me a little bit.
You might have noticed that I didn’t include the summary from the dust jacket like I usually do in my reviews. I actually didn’t care for what was on the dust jacket for two reasons. First, I don’t feel like it was a good characterization of the novel. Girls in Trucks is disjointed and choppy. The author skips from time to time and place to place in order to tell Sarah’s story. It is a technique that works in some places and doesn’t in others; I was definitely left hanging on some storylines. However, the dust jacket summary isn’t representative of that at all – the summary from Amazon.com, however, is.
Second, and this is a real disappointment, the summary gives away too much information about the book. The endings of two of the major storylines are revealed in the dust jacket summary! So basically, if you decide to read Girls in Trucks, don’t read the dust jacket! Go straight to the novel!
Like I said earlier, the main feature of Girls in Trucks is its disjointed story telling. In some ways, this is an interesting technique because it gives the author the ability to cut out boring stories about Sarah, which leaves the reader with a book that is very easy to read. It is also effective because the book covers such a long timespan. On the other hand, the reader doesn’t form a relationship with the characters like he or she otherwise would, had the book been smoother and more coherent. I didn’t really care about Sarah the way I usually care about characters in other books. This is not to say that I didn’t like her; simply that I didn’t feel like I had a stake in what happened to her.
I’d recommend Girls in Trucks to anyone who enjoys novels about the South. It’s also a quick, light read, but it does suffer from the issues I mentioned above. Still, I’m eager to see what Crouch comes up with next!