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
I think I understand that narrator Mary Beth Hurt was trying to sound brittle and arch like the main character, but her narration was way over the top. Grated on my ears (and nerves) so badly that I didn't make it any farther into the story than one hour... after I forget that voice, then I'll try to read this story myself... but that will take a good long while. Too bad. I was really looking forward to listening to it!
The main character was amazingly funny, and so real. The story catches the reader from the beginning, and stays that way through out the story. I especially enjoyed the reader. She brought the story to life.
I loved the narration best. The story was good too, but it was the narration that put it over the top for me. The main character Hildy made me laugh out loud several times.
I would certainly recommend it to my friends, particularly to those just beginning to try audio books. It's a great example of a book made better in this format. Alcoholism, however, is one element addressed in this story, and it might be hard for some to listen to, as it seemed a very real and clear expression of the struggle. I feel that I understand the cravings and emotions associated with it much better because of this book. There is certainly more to the story than that, but it's worth a word of caution.
Mary Beth Hurt's performance was the best part of this book for me. Terrific! Some books are just better as audio books, and this is one of those. Mary Beth brought a depth to the character that I couldn't have created on my own. Hildy is quite a character, and it is because of the performance. I would rank Mary Beth Hurt as one of my top 5 favorite narrators based on this book. I will be looking closely at other books narrated by her to add to my library.
Interesting all the way through. Not exactly a cliffhanger, but a good book, enjoyable.
Hildy was great.
At first I didn't think I would like the reader, but she was perfect for the book.
Hildy. She would be a blast at a party.
Mary Beth Hurt did a wonderful job in the narration of this book. The story definitely kept me interested but the last 2 or 3 chapters were a big disappointment. It was as if the author wanted to quickly finish the book. I thought perhaps I had skipped some part since I switched from listening to it at home and then in my car. I therefore "re read" the last 2 chapters and it turned out that I had not missed a thing. The author just gleaned over 2 important parts of the book.
The book certainly showed that alcoholism is truly a sickness and one that is difficult to treat.
I enjoy historical fiction, humor, and biographies. I listen to my Audible books as I drive in my car or on my IPhone.
I enjoyed the story of the struggle of an elderly,alcoholic woman. You can actually understand her side and the way she sees things as she deals with the struggle of having to have another drink. The narration was excellent and I will gladly listen to any other book from this narrator.
Hildi is so real!! I saw myself all the way though!
This book made me laugh outloud!! I loved it!!
The author is so excellent she brings the story to life!
I really think all books are better in audio, provided the narrator is good.
This was a nice read, plain and simple
We've certainly thought about it.
Because we didn't want it to end and we've not read another as good.
The goodness of it, etc.
There was nothing we didn't like, she was terrific, we fell in love with her.
No, we wanted to savor it!
What more can we say except wish we could find another we enjoyed as much.
This is a ravishingly enjoyable novel, told in the first person by Hildy Goode, a sixty-year-old alcoholic real estate agent and fictional 8th granddaughter of the real Sarah Good who was hanged for witchcraft at Salem in 1692, The story revolves around a growing friendship between Hildy and a newcomer to the small coastal Massachusetts town of Wendover, a wealthy, vulnerable young woman who stumbles into an affair with the local psychiatrist. But the story's magic truly lies in Hildy's voice--her intelligence, her worldly wisdom, her deep roots in the town and her efforts to deny her alcoholism. The book could have benefitted from a bit more editing in some early sections where a few passages fall flat and some repetition creeps in, but this is a remarkable book. The lyrically described setting and the character of Hildy Good are fully realized and a delight to encounter.
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