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The Good House Audiobook

The Good House: A Novel

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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 (2039 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mon San Francisco, Ca 10-01-13
    Mon San Francisco, Ca 10-01-13 Member Since 2010

    12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Great Surprise"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Good House to be better than the print version?

    Yes because Mary Beth Hurt was amazing - she brought the characters in this book to life, especially Hildy's character.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Hildy's character was written so perfectly. She is lovely and delusional, dynamic and flawed; and still so beautiful all the while living in total denial. It was sort of spell binding hearing Hildy go through this process of self discovery - really discovering that she is in fact a total alcoholic. I was GLUED to this story, and Hildy is just one of the many lovely characters in this audio. The book is rich!


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

    Mary Beth Hurt brought ALL that is Hildy Good to life in her performance. Hildy is a full character and the narrator captured her demons and spirit and made her relateable. I laughed so much and also held my breath a few times. It was a brilliant performance.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Wendover spelled out in bottles of red wine.
    I think Meryl Streep or Angelica Houston would be PERFECT as Hildy and Kate Winslet would make a good Rebecca because she is a bewitching character. Kate Winslet looks so proper and perfect, (just like Rebecca) but I think she could bring on the crazy in a heart beat (just like Rebecca). Count me in. When's the movie?


    Any additional comments?

    The town itself is its own character allowing folks to be quirky and loving, independent and woven. There is so much to like about The Good House so go ahead and download it. It's worth the credit!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendi Overland Park, KS, United States 02-26-13
    Wendi Overland Park, KS, United States 02-26-13 Member Since 2012

    Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!

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    "Couldn't Stop Listening, Narrator is Perfect!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Good House the most enjoyable?

    I would say the best part about listening to 'The Good House' was the narrator. She was perfect as the main character and I could actually see her speaking in my mind. She had the perfect tone, the perfect expressions, and I loved her. I didn't want the story to end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Good House?

    There were many memorable moments in The Good House. Every time Hildy, the main character, would get bombed and forget what she had done was horrifying but hysterical. The narrator was wonderful at making the main character seem completely aloof and in denial about having a drinking problem. There were several great parts in regards to Hildy and her persistent denial.


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

    Everything- her voice was perfect.


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

    I really would have listened to this book in one sitting had I the time. However, it took me about three listens (and staying up late) to get it done. It was a great story with rich characters and a mixture of hilarity and realism that was absolutely perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great story and a fantastic narrator. Be prepared to laugh and at the same time be touched by Hildy and her drunken adventures.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly Charleston, SC, United States 01-05-14
    Molly Charleston, SC, United States 01-05-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Another marathon Listen!"

    I loved this story and was hooked from the start. I wish I had slowed down and savored it because it was over way too fast.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 07-11-13
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 07-11-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Well Done"

    It was so intriguing listening to alcoholic Hildy's story which all seems so reasonable, then hearing what actually happened from the non-inebreated supporting cast of this novel. Leary does an excellent job drawing the character of Hildy and letting us love her while still seeing her bumps and bruises. Well done!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim San Diego, CA, United States 03-27-13
    Jim San Diego, CA, United States 03-27-13 Member Since 2015
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    "From Good to Great"

    I am very careful about the books which I choose to download.

    To be honest, I like modern detective books (Michael Connolly) and I like well-written mysteries..

    As I listened into the 2nd hour of The Good House, I was wondering when the murder would take place. I was wondering what dramatic event would occur that would need to be resolved throughout the remainder of the story.

    The book had a definite flow but I was swimming against the tide expecting something familiar. What I got instead, was something totally unexpected. An absolutely wonderful book which, at the same time, wove the characters and the feel of a charming New England town into the stark presentation of the alcoholic mind of Hildy, the main character.

    If you have ever known or experienced addiction of any kind, exploring the mind of Hildy is a spell-binding revelation of how the addictive mind can survive, thrive and then dive into utter despair.

    This book was so well written that I had trouble turning off my I Phone.

    To top it off, I can say that I have never experienced any better narration. Usually when I finish a great book, I immediately search for other books by the same author, as I did with the Good House.

    But this time, I made a point of searching for other stories with the same narrator and what did I find? I found The Darling, a wonderful book with the same narrator that I listened to three years ago. The narrator was so compelling that I have once again downloaded The Darling and will listen to it again tonight as I go for my nightly walk with my beautiful boxer.

    Please listen to the The Good House. You will be glad that you did.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 05-16-13
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 05-16-13 Member Since 2006

    Addicted to Audible!

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    "Excellent character analysis"

    I have never lived with an alcoholic so for me this was an eye-opening account of the behavior and self-delusion that goes with this disease. I enjoyed the narration, it was totally realistic and brought the character to life. I would definately recommend it as an interesting analysis of people, what goes on behind closed doors and how you can never judge a person's life and happiness from what you see in their public persona!

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha New York, NY, United States 01-30-13
    Samantha New York, NY, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Fantastic audiobook!"
    Any additional comments?

    Mary Beth Hurt perfectly matched the voice I imagined for Hildy Good. I didn't want The Good House to end!

    20 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 09-24-15
    Simone 09-24-15 Member Since 2016

    Follow me on Goodreads too!

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    "Delightfully Dysfunctional!"

    I loved Hildy! She was so hysterical!... but in all honestly I think that was thanks to the narrator: Mary Beth Hurt. Her performance / voice was so terrific that without her I think Hildy would have just been very funny instead of flat out hilarious.

    She was such a hot mess - and I didn't want her to get better, her dysfunctionality entertained me thoroughly.

    "How did I not know to expect saggy knees!!" love it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Garfinkle 11-23-13

    author of books for teens and children

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    "Great Story and Great Narrator"

    This story of an alcoholic realtor in a small Massachusetts town is not for those who love fast-paced action and adventure novels. But if you like character-driven novels with humor, heart, and depth, you'll love this book. The main character and all the characters are shown as unique human beings, with individual talents, good qualities, and serious flaws. And the small town setting really comes alive.

    After reading this novel, I understood a lot more about living in a small town, fishing, suffering from alcoholism, being a realtor in a one-person shop, owning horses, and, well, being human. I can't wait to read Leary's other books.

    Also, Mary Beth Hurt did a fantastic job narrating this book. She's one of the best narrators I've heard.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 11-09-13
    Margaret 11-09-13
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    "So true to life, nearly painful"

    This tightly novel leaves one off-guard: is the main character developing or deteriorating? The characters are so true to life, they could be one's own family. At first, I was put off by Mary Beth Hurt's narration, with sometimes odd and inappropriate inflection. Turns out, that was part of the character development (or deterioration). By the end, it's hard to imagine Hildy's voice as anyone's but Ms. Hurt's. She excels with the other characters' voices, too.I ran extra errands today in order to have the excuse to find out how this unpredictable plot wrapped up. An involving and often quite amusing listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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