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.
©2013 Ann Leary (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
I wanted to read Leary because she is a transplanted New Englander like me (married to actor/comedian Denis Leary) and I loved her story about alchoholic Hildy, Hilda Good descendent of Sarah Good who was hanged in Salem for witchcraft back in the day. Hildy is 60 year old woman, a real successful real estate agent in small town MA who has been a serious drinker for a long time, and even though her daughters have staged an intervention, and Hildy has gone to treatment, she still finds a way to drink, quietly. What follows is a wild ride with a fix-it guy she is attracted to, weathy nutty neighbors and a great story that really pulls you in. Recommend.
Savagely funny at times and painful at other times. Characters are beautifully shown with their flaws as well as beauty. Also a refreshing look at aging and love. Well worth the credit. An exceptional book expertly read.
I'll be in the house soon. I just can't get out of the car until I hear one more chapter.
I would rate it as one of my favorite listens. I found myself wanting to listen to "just one chapter more", and was sad to have the story finished.
I found myself many times laughing out loud at Hildy's comments. However I almost had to pull my car over I was laughing so hard when Hildy dropped her keys off her office porch and decided to jump down after them. Then there were the tender moments, the sweet memories with her husband, Frankie and even Peter as a boy.
To my knowledge I've not listened to Mary Beth Hurt before. She was perfect for this audiobook. She WAS Hildy!
Ann Leary has written a fabulous book on alcoholism. Together with the performance by Mary Beth Hurt, this is not a book to be missed. Both the author and the narrator brought to life the many funny, tender, sad and reflective moments in The Good House. It's can be sad to finish a really good book, but Ann Leary did a great job ending Hildy's story.
Mary Beth Hurt perfectly matched the voice I imagined for Hildy Good. I didn't want The Good House to end!
"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." --Lemony Snicket
I found Hildy Good – lifelong resident of a quaint seaside town, successful real estate agent, "wine lover", and descendant of one of the Salem witches – to be an absolutely fascinating protagonist. Her behavior alternates between hilarious and sobering in a novel where secrets are kept and demons are battled. Through it all you’ve got the masterful Mary Beth Hurt’s performance anchoring you to this very original story. I didn’t want it to end!
Books are windows into other worlds--and listening is my favorite way to get there!
I won't give a summary of the book, as it has been well done by the publisher and other reviews. Also, I don't want to go into a lot of detail about what happens--no spoilers!
I thought this might turn out to be a sweet little story about quaint New Englander's--not so! It's quaint, sure, but has an underbelly of interwoven relationships that get trickier and more convoluted as their lives take shape. Everyday life in this upscale New England town starts out slowly, gets more complicated, and builds with tension towards the end.
I read some backstory about the author, who it turns out, has some acquaintance with alcoholism in her own life. Her ability to translate those experiences to the pages of this novel- were nothing short of amazing. What a talent! She skillfully makes the people in this town come to life- I felt I had known them for years.
It is narrated beautifully by Mary Beth Hurt. Hildy's words literally jump off the page. I could have been sitting in Hildy's cozy living room by the crackling fire and listening to her tell me her story as we sipped our wine . . .
I note that some reviews stated they felt the ending was abrupt, or cut off. I really think it was just right. The author could have gone on to explain what exactly happened with the lives of these people after the events that took place--but she didn't, and I kind of liked that. I didn't find it hard to imagine how things would have, or could have ended up.
I loved this book, and will now seek out other's by this author.
Addicted to Audible!
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!
Suzanne, avid reader and listener who loves a broad range of genres but, ecpecially authors,T.C. Boyle, Jodi Picoult, Barbara Kingsolver, Lionel Shriver, Sue Miller, Larry McMurty, Bryce Courteran, Lisa Gardner, Brian Haig, Richard North Patterson, Nelson Demille, Robert Tannenbaum, Sara Gruen, Kate Norton, Steig Larsen, Tana French and Gillian Flynn!! Still many more and the number of authors I enjoy continues to grow.
It is a rare for a character from a book to be so fully developed and real. Ann Leary's Hilde is the zaniest, most complicated and wise cracking Yankee woman I ever met. Mary Beth Hurt's narration was absolutely superb! I was sorry when the book ended and she was no longer in my life. I will look for more books that she narrates!
I bought this book based on the the reviews, of several readers whose opinions, I have come to respect. I can't thank you other audible customers enough for taking the time to write such thoughtful and helpful reviews. I will work to be a better member of this great community of engaged minds: because, together, we can really broaden and enhance our experiences in audio literature.
The whole story and character unfolds, exposing layers of the life of
a woman who lives, loves, fumbles, triumphs, experiences motherhood and
"gammyhood", strides, and deceives herself with such determined grit,
that you can't help but, feel anger frustration and yet, embrace her as a friend ( though she's not real " touchy " ).
I just can't speak highly enough of this book. I have already recommended it to my family and friends and will seek out more from this wonderfully seasoned, funny, talented and intelligent writer!
I loved Hildy and hated for the story to end because I won't be able to keep up with her. Mary Beth Hurt MADE this book so enjoyable and real.
Hildy because we would drink wine and have a good talk.
I never write reviews but The Good House was simply terrific. Mary Beth Hurt was the perfect Hildy Good; her character was really well-developed and the alcoholism angle fascinating. I was absolutely transported to the insulated world of Wendover. Perfect listen!
Report Inappropriate Content