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The Good House: A Novel | [Ann Leary]

The Good House: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Fiction, 2014

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.

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 60-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.

©2012 Ann Leary (P)2013 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1509 )
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Performance
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  •  
    L. Berry Visalia, CA 03-05-13
    L. Berry Visalia, CA 03-05-13
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    "First rate!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Good House to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, but with the audio version I had an immediate sense of who Hildy Good was and what she looked/sounded like! I'm sure a print version would have produced a very different perception of Hildy!


    What other book might you compare The Good House to and why?

    I'm thinking "Fried Green Tomatoes"...a specific American town, a culture, some comedy/tragedy (and the whole time I thought Mary Stuart Masterson was Mary Beth Hurt - sorry!). And in answer to the question, it comes down to tone as well (did not read the print version - loved the film).


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I am really grateful for the ending. I love the scene in the sailboat. I had to re-listen to the last quarter of the book because sometimes I fall asleep with an audiobook - don't worry, I know it!


    Who was the most memorable character of The Good House and why?

    Hildy, of course. Well, she is the most developed character...and even though Peter should have had a chance to redeem himself instead of finishing himself off, I get the story...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    daisy SOUTHAMPTON, MA, United States 03-04-13
    daisy SOUTHAMPTON, MA, United States 03-04-13
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    "Loved it"
    What did you love best about The Good House?

    The main character seemed so familiar to me. She embodied a few people I know well. The denial of her alcoholism was very typical and made her very real. Being from New England, I loved the familiarity of the location. Overall a great read.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice United States 03-04-13
    Janice United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent Story with Great Characters"

    I loved this book! I got completely caught up in the world that Ann Leary created. Her characters are totally believeable - flawed, humorous and recognizeable. Mary Beth Hurt's narration is excellent - I always knew who was speaking. This is a book I would listen to again - it's that good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deborah Albertson, NY, United States 03-04-13
    deborah Albertson, NY, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "The narrator was amazing!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it was entertaining and easy to follow, even with breaks in the listening.


    What other book might you compare The Good House to and why?

    I found it to be unique.


    Have you listened to any of Mary Beth Hurt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would have loved to have been able to listen to this book in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Mary Beth Hurt completely captured the voice and feeling of the character and added immensely to the enjoyment of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    APRIL SHADY SPRING, WV, United States 03-04-13
    APRIL SHADY SPRING, WV, United States 03-04-13
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    "I FOUND A KINDRED SPIRIT IN AN OLD DRUNK"
    Any additional comments?

    I could relate to this woman. Sure the story plays out exactly like you expect with little in the way of shocking twists and turns. However, it is a very well written feel good kind of book. The characters feel very human- like you could and DO know them. Mary Beth Hurt did an excellent job with all of the characters voices.....with the exception of the rare voice of children...which was painful. Like nails on a chalkboard kind of painful. Overall, an excellent read- I would buy and will read it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben MONTCLAIR, NJ, United States 03-04-13
    Ben MONTCLAIR, NJ, United States 03-04-13
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    "Wonderful Listen - Perfect for a long drive"

    I purchased this book to listen to on a long driving trip [to New England, but that was a coincidence - I swear] and was captivated by this story. Ann Leary paints a wonderful picture of a New England town with all the characters/people that you could imagine if you have ever lived in one. She had me laughing, nodding my head, shaking my head and touching on moments from my past that seemed to be reflected in this novel.

    Mary Beth Hurt's narration is wonderful. I haven't heard any of her previous work, but a novice listener to books in the car was amazed by her reading and made several comments about her work [and the author's] during our driving breaks. I will be looking for her name in my future purchases.

    At the end of our journey, I had to add an additional 25 minutes of driving to our trip because we were not finished with the book and all who were listening were not going to be together in listen to the end - and no one complained.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat COLFAX, CA, United States 03-03-13
    Pat COLFAX, CA, United States 03-03-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Need to listen not read this story !!"
    What did you love best about The Good House?

    The story was great but the narrator, Mary Beth Hurt made the the characters especially Hildy Good the main character come alive !! This story might have dragged for me if I had read it but the narration gave all the residents of this East Coast town so much depth, and the complexities of their relationships a reality with her reading. Hildy is a drunk in denial and reminds me of some of my family.....many alcoholics in my life!! But they were also good people who accomplished much but did not realize the effect their drinking had on those closest to them. I believe Hurt's voice as Hildy gave the reader more insight and feeling for Hildy than they might have just reading about her.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narration and the in depth story about all the residents of this small town.
    I hated for it to end !!


    Have you listened to any of Mary Beth Hurt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't but will check the list of her performances and see if the stories peak an interest !!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The end was gratifying for me.....


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 03-03-13
    Kimberly 03-03-13 Member Since 2006

    Say something about yourself!

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    "I Love Hildy!!"

    The Good House and Hildy were captivating from the very beginning. The story is so real it could have been; and told by the narrator Mary Beth Hurt completely appealing. There are many reviews of this story so I’ll give you my impressions instead of trying to not tell what happens.

    Hildy’s ex-husband is wonderful and the circumstances are sad. Her daughters are so very typical, judgmental, and perfectly willing to be co-dependents in their own rights while pointing fingers. The small New England town could have been anywhere, but what a charming location! School friends, histories of each other, new acquaintances, and all the ‘fun’ they all have/had, consequences of choices, realization of what must be done, loneliness, alcoholism, co-dependence, all in all a great read.

    It is worth the credit, I will listen again – just in case I missed something.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheri Surrey, British Columbia, Canada 03-03-13
    Sheri Surrey, British Columbia, Canada 03-03-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved it!"

    I didn't do my usual "sample" listen of this book before I went ahead and used my valuable credit for the download. At first, I was unsure of the rough-voiced narrator, but soon I realized that she was perfect for this book, speaking as the voice of Hildy Good.

    I just finished this book today and I'm already calculating how long to wait before listening to it again.

    In my view, this is an original story - the viewpoint of an alcoholic in denial (without the predictable over-the-top scenarios) with a touch of on-the-edge reality and a real scare toward the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donnise columbia, tn, United States 03-03-13
    Donnise columbia, tn, United States 03-03-13

    I have a 3 hour commute to work every day so I listen to audiobooks to help with my drive. It's added some happiness to my day (if it's a good book)!

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    "A Nice Departure Read"
    Where does The Good House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was a good book. It does not go into my list of favorites, but I enjoyed it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The love interest with the handy man.


    What about Mary Beth Hurt’s performance did you like?

    She is just wonderful. I could listen to her narrate every book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The time frame that she had no idea what happened during her blackout (car was wrecked, kid was missing)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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