Monday, May 10, 2010

Men and Dogs, by Katie Crouch

I'd have liked Men and Dogs better if I hadn't found it in the mystery section. A mystery in which the mystery isn't resolved in pretty unsatisfying. But a well-written, humorous story about how badly losing a parent at an early age can damage a person is a good book to have read. Our heroine, Hannah Legare, is in the process of destroying her life, her marriage, her business, when she is forced home to Louisiana to recover from falling off her husband's fire escape - that or a mental institution, according to her mother. At home she faces the central mystery of her life, what happened to her father when he disappeared one evening many years earlier. Everyone else believes him dead, but she believes him missing. So she pokes at little mysteries annoying everyone along the way. When did her mother and stepfather meet? What kind of relationship was her dad having with her boyfriend's mother? Is her ex-boyfriend happy with his dizzy, weepy wife? She reaches some conclusions about her dad and stepfather - enough to enable her to go home to her husband in hopes that he's willing to take her back. I liked the loopy names her father-in-law called her, that he had made her secret place his own, and that her Southern lady mother was so supportive of Hannah & John's sex toy business.

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