Abroad by Katie Crouch: My Review

This is a dark and tempting book.  Katie Crouch takes a look at the dark side of life abroad for a group of university students and it’s not a sweet loving look.  In today’s world the young ladies do not go abroad with chaperones, nor do they go only to study, they go to reinvent themselves, to become for at least awhile someone they have never been before.

This is a page turning parable about modern girlhood.  It will make you laugh out loud.  It will make you cry. And, if you are a mother, it will make you shutter.  Full of the foolish risks we all take, and the consequences of these risk taking behaviors, it will keep you reading far in to the night.

Katie Crouch has set ancient, dangerous secrets into small vignettes between chapters of the modern story – these enhance and help build the tension and make you realize that while much has changed – much has not.

Tabitha – Taz for short — arrives with her scholarship and her dreams in Grifonia, Italy where she is quickly drawn into a glamorous group that seem to offer her a new and different, more exciting life.  As the plot un-spools the ominous undercurrent, that is apparent from the first page, draws the reader deeper and deeper into the current of secrets that whirl through the lives of the students, the townspeople, the wealthy and the poor.

Each character is well drawn and the novel’s appeal is irresistible. The ending is simultaneously poignant and horrific. This is a provocative, well written book.  Enjoy!

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