Michelle Gable, Writer

Michelle Gable, Writer

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Highlighting Books: The Good House by Ann Leary

June 8, 2013 ,

By “highlighting” I mean “featuring.” Not to be confused with being a high school student and extensively marking up your father’s first edition Hemingways. It’s weird. Dads don’t like that. Anyway, moving on…

I might be a writer (fledgling, wannabe, what have you) but I am first a reader. In this blog I want to share some of my favorite books because one of the best things about being a reader is passing on to others books you love. Whenever a friend says she only reads books I recommend, it is pretty much the best compliment I could possibly receive.

Today I’m going to start with one of my favorites of the 50 or so I’ve read so far in 2013, The Good House by Ann Leary.

Description (from Good Reads):

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.

Partial review:

Loved this book. I picked it up on good reviews and am glad I only later found out (or else forgot) the author is Denis Leary’s wife because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have touched it. Hildy Good is our sixty-something realtor protagonist and one of the best female characters I’ve read in a long, long time. She is funny and complex and flawed and unreliable. Truly fantastic. I also loved the Salem witch/pseudo-telepathic aspect to her and her occupation is almost a character in itself.

I loved the privileged and sad Rebecca McAllister, she felt so real to me it was as though I could reach out and hug her. And believe me, I wanted to, when I didn’t want to throttle her. The other townsfolk are funny and quirky and real. There is no grand sweeping narrative but the simplicity and bluntness with which Hildy speaks is absolute perfection for this book. For me the only negative was it got too horsey at times. I was not surprised to read the author is an accomplished equestrian.

Full review here.

My Good Reads Profile

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