Grifonia, Italy. Home to thousands of years of secrets. Upon entering those ancient walls for her year abroad, Tabitha Deacon is entranced. And under the influence of a new, wealthy group of friends from her program, Taz quickly falls into a life of secretive, eccentric parties in abandoned cathedrals and medieval villas that are like nothing she's ever imagined. But Claire, Taz's plainspoken, unsettlingly beautiful roommate, is worried that Taz isn't really suited to her new bacchanalian lifestyle. A true friend, Claire wants to get to know Taz as she really is. Then, when both girls fall in love with the same quiet Italian with an odd, undisclosed past, everyone's morals are called into question. As the girls' boundaries disappear, Taz and Claire slide toward a terrifying end that seems almost inevitable--as if there is a force of history manipulating them from beneath the ancient city herself.
With a mesmerizing, steady hand, Crouch serves up a new novel that is part murder mystery, part modern Henry Jamesian exploration of the moral traps of modern girlhood. A page-turning, literary thriller in the best tradition, delivered with the dark wit and sure language the novelist has become known for.
“Katie Crouch’s Abroad had me miss an appointment, hide in the bathroom to escape guests and read a few more pages, and finally surrender, get into bed to feverishly drink this addictive book in one long gulp. The book sneakily lures you in with its five alluring women in search of enlightenment—or at least friendship—in a foreign land, and then startles you with its complexity. Crouch is a master writer who captures a provocative news story and then wrestles it, through mythology and history, to at last stare at death and what lies beyond it.”
—Deb Olin Unferth, National Books Critics Circle Award finalist and author of Vacation
“A classic character study, a strong plot and taut pacing make this novel a good read. The codas that sit between chapters and hold all that history—true and imagined, the elegant prose and a deeply human sensibility are what elevate it to an incredible read.”
—Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas and The Virgin of Flames
“Katie Crouch’s Abroad is seductive as a chilled Campari on a sunny Italian afternoon. Crouch excels at describing the complex geography of female friendship. Her tale of an innocent abroad mixes in murder, lust, and Etruscan mythology into a heady cocktail.”
—Tatjana Soli, New York Times bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters
“Katie Crouch has the artist’s gaze that lets her look at a moment as contemporary as a tabloid headline and see the eternal verities within it. Abroad combines her winsomely modern ear with an eye for the perils and ecstasies that have defined young-womanhood across centuries.”
—Jonathan Dee, author of A Thousand Pardons and The Privileges
“Abroad is a riveting page-turner populated by vain, destructive and yet altogether intriguing characters. A tribute to the complexities of youth, a vivid picture of both ancient and modern Italy, and most of all, a complex psychological thriller, Abroad will incite debate, admiration, and awe.”
—Vendela Vida, author of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name and The Lovers
“Katie Crouch’s beautiful and haunting novel is so much more than a fictionalized account of a true crime in an Italian college town. It’s a guided tour of the winding and sometimes twisted avenues that lead strangers to a place of friendship, love, treachery and sacrifice. I loved this book.” —Ann Leary, author of The Good House
“From the first page of this cunningly suspenseful, brilliantly imagined novel, you know where you’re headed—but then again, you don’t. With uncanny psychological precision and a dark, dead-on wit, Katie Crouch explores how the casual follies of youth all too quickly turn tragic. That she does so by blending ancient history with a true-crime story whose twists and turns still claim international headlines makes it all the more powerful. Prepare to be entertained, terrified, and haunted.”
—Julia Glass, National Book Award–winning author of Three Junes and The Widower’s Tale