The Good House: A Novel

The Good House: A Novel

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The Good House: A Novel by Ann Leary, Mary Beth Hurt

"Fresh, sharp and masterfully told, Hildy's tale is as intoxicating as it is sobering."—People magazine

A riveting novel in which an engaging and wildly irreverent woman is in complete denial—about herself, her drinking, and her love for a man she's known all her life

Ann Leary's The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place—"if they invite you over for dinner, and it's not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life"—and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key to her drinking problem.

As if battling her demons wasn't enough to keep her busy, Hildy soon finds herself embroiled in the underbelly of her New England town, a craggy little place that harbors secrets. There's a scandal, some mysticism, babies, old houses, drinking, and desire—and a love story between two craggy sixty-somethings that's as real and sexy as you get. An exceptional novel that is at turns hilarious and sobering, The Good House asks the question: What will it take to keep Hildy Good from drinking? For good.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781427228888
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 01/15/2013
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 8
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

ANN LEARY has published two previous books, An Innocent, A Broad and Outtakes from a Marriage, as well as short fiction and journalism in Ploughshares among others. She is also the co-host of the weekly NPR radio show Hash Hags. Ms. Leary lives in Roxbury, CT with four dogs, three horses, and her husband, the actor, Denis Leary.

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The Good House: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 101 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate overused exclamation points but I had to use one in my headline. This novel is a must read. Ms. Leary is a wonderful writer. There is not one "extra" word in this book and I mean that in a good way. She gets to the point without rambling on but at the same time paints a vivid picture of every scene. There are laugh out loud moments and pathetically human ones. Hildy is such a complex character and Ms. Leary brings her to life on every page. I predict that when this year is over The Good House will be on the "best fiction of 2013" lists.
ad1270 More than 1 year ago
Ann Leary is a great writer, and this book hooked me from the beginning. It does not move super quickly, but it is a fast and entertaining read. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book, so entertaining and fun. A great book to get lost in. A wonderful read for all those fellow real estate brokers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ann Leary is a wonderful author who really brings all the characters in this book to life. The book is funny, thoughtful, and sometimes sad, but most of all entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book. I don't usually spend this much but it was worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OK: I read this immediately after finishing GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn, which is probably a tad unfair to Ann Leary. Flynn's use of language, the sheer courage of the Gone Girl format and plot, are formidable and addictive. Reading Leary's novel felt like a let-down. However, being from the north shore of Massachusetts, the setting of THE GOOD HOUSE is a kick (personally, I think the town is Wenham, with some bits of Hamilton thrown in to cover the horsey set). The descriptions of the working guys - especially Frankie -- ring especially true. Hildy is a character to neither love nor hate. Dare we say she's "meh"? The subplot revolving around a family with an autistic son, while good relief from HIldy's woes, is thin, even as it wraps up (no spoiler alert here!). However, the book hits its stride in two particular "episodes": the lobster boat expedition with Hildy on board, and a wonderfully suspenseful interplay between Hildy and Peter, the local psychiatrist, in Hildy's kitchen. Is Peter a sinister threat, or are we truly in Hildy's alcohol-addled brain? It was the NY Times interview with Ann Leary that inspired me to add THE GOOD HOUSE to my Nook. What i'd much prefer to read is a memoir of Ann Leary's own life and struggle with alcoholism. If you're in the mood for something with a Boston-y mood, try this. Better yet, pair it with a Jesse Stone novel by Robert Parker. You'll be running up to Marblehead, Salem and points north for a taste of the real thing!
Lisa_at_OnManorDrive More than 1 year ago
Welcome to small town New England and all that comes with it.......wealth, gossip, and Hildy Good. Hildy is the town real estate broker and knows most of what goes on behind the closed doors of everyone's home, but no one knows what she is hiding behind her own. Follow her as she befriends the newest member of town, falls back in love with the town eccentric, and struggles to realize her own problems. This town becomes your town and the characters your neighbors. You are thrust into the throes of their extramarital affairs, financial struggles, and issues with alcohol. Yet, you still love them all in the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first Ann Leary book I have read. It will not be my last. I was doubtful about it at first, but I enjoyed it more and more as I went on. This is such a well written book that it soon had me involved in the story and the characters lives. I was sorry to see it end. Whether you are struggling with an addicfion or mental illness or not, you will enrich yourself by reading this book. Iwill be reading more of Ann Leary soon.
Boppyof5 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed Leary's last book; the characters were very real, the situations extremely plausible. Small town feel as she explored the different people & their lives. The main character is one you will like, then dislike; she is not lovable, but is real, and anyonie who ever battled alcoholism, or has a loved one who has, will identify with her struggles & reasoning. I really like Ann Leary's style of writing; easy to read, interesting, and most of all, REAL!!!
Atthebeach More than 1 year ago
This was a fun book, an easy read. I enjoyed watching the character, an alcoholic, hide her condition, lie about her drinking, pretend it wasn't so, blame others, and eventually learn a lot about herself because of her alcoholism. I also enjoyed the small town story of this once quiet out of the way town where generations grew up turning into the beach front enclave of the rich and entitled. The main character's role as a long time realtor in the town allowed for insights and gossip and behind the scenes behaviors that were fun to watch. Adultery, emotional illness, the new rich vs. the old locals, love at any cost, suicide, friendship despite difficulty. There are lots of themes wound together via this character and her relationships.It's not too deep, but it was a great beach read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lived this look at small town drama, fun-to-trouble alcohol use, and real estate adventures in New England. I very much appreciated getting a middle-aged woman's perspective on work, love, family/friends, community ties, drinking, and 'alone-time.' While I am not very interested in all the horse-show details, I would love to see more work from Leary, especially if she adds to the grown-woman genre. Leary is quite talented at weaving together stories from the past in order to flesh out the characters' histories in perfect relevance to and timing with the present narrative.
SKJN More than 1 year ago
I found myself racing through this book because I really cared about what happened to the characters. I think that's where Ann Leary excelled- in character development. I felt the ending was a little abrupt, but all in all I would recommend this book.
Thiltpold More than 1 year ago
This book grabbed a hold of me right from the start. The main character (Hildy) is so complex that she kept me wanting to learn more about her and her disease (or non disease).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was good although a little disorienting to follow the timeline. Jumped around a bit without cause making you struggle to figure out where you were in the story. Overall, good characters and good plot, just pay attention :-)
elbell More than 1 year ago
There are moments in which you laugh out loud, but ultimately it is a sad yet unlifting tale.
Phyllie More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read in ages.
Anonymous 28 days ago
I could not put it down had to finish it
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Strolls in. O.e
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