Thursday 30 July 2009

Girls In Trucks by Katie Crouch

Pages - 241

Challenges - 100+ books

Published in 2008 by Bloomsbury

ISBN 9780747596981

First line: If you are white, are a girl of boy between the ages of nine and twelve, and according to a certain community of mother, are good enough to associate with Charleston's other good girls and boys, then Wednesday night is a busy night for you.

I think the first thing that attracted me to this book, was the title. It is such a mad title and I was imagining all these beautiful, eloquent ladies dressed with wellies, dragging on a cigarette and jumping into big trucks.

This book was definitely not what I thought it would be about and didn't really fit the description given about it.

This is the story of Sarah Waters, a debutante of the Camellia Society who would spend every Wednesday evening at the dancing school, learning the intricate rules of old fashioned southern gentility and learning dances such as the cha cha. Basically being trained in the fine and dated art of being a lady.

From this information alone, I was under the impression that this was a big part of the story. I imagined the debutante part being the main body of the book. In actual fact, this barely covered a chapter and what the book actually did was follow the lives of Sarah and her three friends through the next twenty years of their lives. The book spent a couple of chapters in the South, with descriptions that were believable and than spent the rest of the time in New York, which, from the descriptions, gave me the impression the author had never actually been there.

I understand that you needed to see the debutante part, as these young ladies were being groomed for a successful marriage, out of which only one achieved this. Sarah's life went in a completely opposite direction, involving an abusive partner, drugs and alcohol, before she found her way home to a Southern gentleman. I really felt that the blurb did not match the story at all. I was really expecting a look at teenagers during their debutante years and I felt a little like I had been misled. Have you felt that before? Have you been misled by the blurb on the book, to find that what you are reading doesn't actually fit with the description?

I enjoyed parts of the story, it was good to see Sarah's progression and for her to finally realise that in fact their is no place like home and that all her past failures were actually leading her on a path to where she started.

The first chapter of the book was strong and you felt like you had a real feel of where the book was going, after that it just went downhill. The first chapter became irrelevant, to the rest of the book discussing Sarah's nasty cousin, who was dead and buried by the end of the first chapter and never mentioned about again. The next few chapters seemed to jump within a time line that was not apparent and it had no real reason to do so. One chapter told the story of a character from the book in third person, as to whom that character is, I really haven't a clue! It took awhile for me to work out what the book was actually about, but eventually I realised that basically it was telling us that life just doesn't always turn out the way we want it to and that no amount of training in etiquette will provide you with a successful marriage and a fulfilled life. You felt that it was saying that the debutante way of life, no longer fitted in with modern society. It was supposed to be funny and heartwarming, unfortunately I found it sad and it left me with a feeling of emptiness.

This book reminded me a little of a film I used to love watching in the early 80's. Does anyone remember the film Shag, with Bridget Fonda and Phoebe Cates, as members of a young group of debutantes who fall onto the wide side for a bit before graduation, well this seems to have been what happened to the girls after graduation. Within the book, only Bitsy marries the way she is supposed to, by marrying a wealthy older man. Although her marriage is not all that it seems and it soon becomes apparent that her husband is not as faithful as he should be.

This book is really about life and realising that it does not always turn out the way you would like it to, but it might eventually just turn out better. An interesting read, which shows you real life and real situations that we all have to overcome at some point in our lives. It was OK, but I don't know if I would rush to read another by this author.

Other reviews on this book

Lost in Books

Chick LitSuite101


  1. I've been wondering about this one, I was intrigued by the title too! It sounds like something I'd like, I shall look out for it!

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  4. I've heard a lot of people say this book didn't live up to itself. Being from the south myself, this book is about a culture that I avoid almost religiously, so it's never interested me, but I know a lot of people who've read/reviewed it and I don't think I've read a satisfied review yet.

  5. I have this book and will probably pick it up and flip through it at some point to see if it catches with me. Inaccurate descriptions of New york would bug me though, so we'll see.

  6. I started this book and really liked what I've read so far but I put it aside not too long ago because I haven't really been in a reading mood. It seems like a good story though!

  7. Yay! You made a signature. I'll probably read this book (even though you thought it was just okay)for the Literary Road Trip since I've claimed South Carolina.

  8. Nice review, and honest too. Some books are just ok.
    I will not rush out to grab this book, but hopefully it will come my way anyway

  9. It's kind of cool that the protagonist is named Sarah Waters :D Sorry that the book didn't quite work for you...better luck with your next one!

  10. Thanks for the honest review Viv, I did wonder about this one

  11. sorry you didnt enjoy it that much, great review though.
    I do remember Shag, I thought I was the only one else knows that movie! I used to love it.

  12. Well, I am going out on a limb here and saying I hated this book. As far as I was concerned the best part about it is the cover. The story told me nothing except how she wasted her life on drugs, alcohol, meaningless sex and then has a kid to care for. YUK! If this is the new literature, you can have it. It's on my list of the worst books read this year. I definitely felt duped!

  13. I have this book but haven't read it yet. Like your thoughts I've heard lots of people who weren't that fond of it. I'm sure I'll read it eventually but I'm not in any hurry. Mine has a different cover though. I kind of like the coloring on this one of yours.

  14. I have read some books and very eager to have this one. This book has become a magnet in my eyes because of its title. When we think of construction industry, it involves many heavy equipments like the crane trucks where it plays one of the big roles in the job. We cannot deny that they are the key player with regards to heavy jobs in the construction site.


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