Girls in Trucks
by Katie Crouch
Why did you choose this book? The cover is so pretty
When did you read this book? Aug 2013
Who should read this book? I can't think of anyone I would recommend this book to
Source: book club exchange
Sarah Walters, the narrator of GIRLS IN TRUCKS, is a reluctant Camellia Society debutante. She has always felt ill-fitted to the rococo ways of Southern womanhood and family, and is anxious to shake the bonds of her youth. Still, she follows the traditional path laid out for her. This is Charleston, and in this beautiful, dark, segregated town, established rules and manners mean everything.
But as Sarah grows older, she finds that her Camellia lessons fail her, particularly as she goes to college, moves North, and navigates love and life in New York. There, Sarah and her group of displaced deb sisters try to define themselves within the realities of modern life. Heartbreak, addiction, disappointing jobs and death fail to live up to the hazy, happy future promised to them by their Camellia mothers and sisters.
When some unexpected bumps in the road--an unplanned birth, a family death--lead Sarah back home, she's forced to take another long look at the fading empire of her youth. It takes a strange turn of events to finally ground Sarah enough to make some serious choices. And only then does she realize that as much as she tried to deny it, where she comes from will always affect where she ends up. The motto of her girlhood cotillion society, "Once a Camellia, always a Camellia," may turn out to have more wisdom and pull to it than she ever could have guessed.
Did you ever finish a book, close the book, shake your head, and say to yourself, “Did that book have a point?!” If so, you may have read Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch! I was warned away from this book....by friends, by fellow reviewers.... but I just had to read it. I mean.... look at the cover! Unfortunately, I learned the hard way....you really CAN'T judge a book by its cover! (I think I’ve heard that somewhere before!)
The book starts out decently enough. Sarah and her friends are growing up in the south, where Cotillion lessons are par for the course if you are ‘of a certain people.’ The idea is for girls to be trained in manners and to prepare them to make a ‘good marriage’, meaning marrying of their type. Sadly, these are lessons Sarah does not learn. She does not know what she wants out of life, but spends the entire book trying to find it....whatever it is. Her formula seems to be to find a man and even if you aren’t attracted to him, even if you don’t really LIKE him, sleep with him in hopes that leads you to fall in love. (‘cause THAT always works, right?!) I don’t think we see any growth in Sarah at all, and she seems just as confused at the end of the book as she did at the beginning.
There is a lot going on in the book; drugs, alcohol, sex, extramarital affairs, suicide, cancer, unplanned pregnancy, fatal accidents, abusive relationships, and gay relationships to name a few things. And they each are given their three pages of storyline. However, nothing is developed in detail, and storylines are often just dropped. One example, we spend a chapter at Yale when Sarah visits her sister and meets her controlling boyfriend and end the chapter with a reference to hoping her sister doesn’t come out ‘too broken’, and we don’t really hear from her sister again except for a vague reference to a new husband and a career as an activist. The same type of thing happens over and over, with little real character development. There IS, however a lot of sex.
Another gripe I have about the book is the synopsis. The last paragraph speaks of Sarah being called home due to an unplanned pregnancy and family death. It implies this is a major part of the story. The truth is, that is pretty much the last 30 pages of the book. Perhaps if the story had started there it would be a much better book.
Do I have anything GOOD to say about this book, you ask? Well...yes. Yes I do! It was a quick read. And did you see that amazing cover?! Actually they most interesting part of the book comes after the story ends, when the author tells of how the cover came about.
I don’t like to rate a book so poorly, because I’m sure the author is proud of her work. But I do feel I need to be truthful about the book. If you choose to read it anyway, don’t say you haven’t been warned!
My Rating: ★ 1 Star