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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

4.3 (2367 )
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4.5 (2154 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Patricia Atlanta, GA, United States 07-23-13
    Patricia Atlanta, GA, United States 07-23-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Denial is not just a river in Egypt"

    Kept me interested throughout. Unreliable narrator, my favorite kind.
    Hildy is an interesting flawed character, just trying to slog through life and grab a little relief when she can but she is over her head.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 07-21-13
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 07-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Just good"

    This was just a light beach read, perhaps like other reviewers I do not find laughter in the darkness of alcoholism.

    Though there was humor and wit, I did not find it laugh out loud funny or even cautionary. At times it was rather sad and pathetic. It almost seeemed old fashioned with respect to how "drunks" are perceived as funny.

    Overall I enjoyed listening, but it was not at all what I expected. In short listen, enjoy, but don't expect too much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenna Salmon Arm, BC, Canada 07-17-13
    Jenna Salmon Arm, BC, Canada 07-17-13
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    "Brilliant"
    Any additional comments?

    At first I was hesitant to use my credit on The Good House. I am SO happy I changed my mind. The narrator does an extraordinary job of bringing the book to life. At times the story and characters are hilarious. The author has composed the novel in a way that you can identify with all of the books eccentric characters. The story line is woven brilliantly and you will not want to stop listening. I can't wait to listen again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele 07-13-13
    Michele 07-13-13
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    "Reader turns good story into timeless treasure"
    What did you love best about The Good House?

    Author's words pour out of Hildy's mouth in such an easy conversational flow. Just as if Hildy was sitting next to you on a long airplane flight. She tells you, a stranger, stories of her little town and of her life that she'd never say publicly to those she knows. Dialogue is so rich, I finished the book and started over again!


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

    The humor is Dave Barry. And the gut jabs of reality is Fanny Flagg "Green Fried Tomatoes".


    Which character – as performed by Mary Beth Hurt – was your favorite?

    Hildy's voice is PERFECT... and yet the reader, Mary Beth Hurt did justice to ALL the characters. She brought the story to life. Her reading was so natural it was like she was in the room sitting next to you, leaning in slightly as she shares this story.


    If you could take any character from The Good House out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Hildy and her ex-spouse. Those two are perfect company!


    Any additional comments?

    Plan to buy more by this author and reader

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Lafayette, LA, USA 07-09-13
    Sandy Lafayette, LA, USA 07-09-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Great book!!!!"

    I really enjoyed this book. It was so well written. I have never had an addiction to alcohol but after meeting Hildi and getting to know her, I have a better understanding of how terrible the illness can be. I would and will recommend this book to all of my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Golladay Greenville, SC USA 07-08-13
    E. Golladay Greenville, SC USA 07-08-13 Listener Since 2006
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    "Excellent book, magnificent narration"

    Totally engrossing and believable story. You have to love Hildy, and Mary Beth Hurt was a really fantastic narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chrispy Reno 07-03-13
    chrispy Reno 07-03-13 Member Since 2006
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    "A very good listen"

    Wow, Mary Beth Hurt, the narrator did an amazing job with this book! I have never heard this actress narrate before.
    This was a very good story, one that I usually don't listen to but I was extremely surprised. The character development was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Carmen Chile 07-01-13
    Carmen Chile 07-01-13 Member Since 2017
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    "it is not even corny it is just awfull"

    maybe, but just maybe, if the reader had another voice or was lest enthusiastic in her high points, one could pas the second page...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Faith Spencer 06-29-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Absolutely Wonderful!!"
    What did you love best about The Good House?

    I loved Hildy. She's a successful business woman and is extremely funny. She's also an alcoholic with a vicious tongue and a deep seeded denial that makes you want to strangle her. But Hildy is also such a flawed human being, you can't help but care about her.
    The Good House is more than a story about an alcoholic. It's a story about small town living and all the people who live in the town. People who have lived there all their lives, enmeshed in each others private lives, as if it's as normal as the tides that roll into that Massachusetts fishing village.


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

    This was my first book narrated by Mary Beth Hurt. Ms. Hurt's performance was terrific! She was Hildy, through and through. She sounded like a woman of Hildy's age, but even more, she sounded exactly how I would imagine Hildy to sound. Bravo!
    I will say that her "kid voices" were less than believable, and it is always strange to hear a person attempt to do a voice of the opposite sex. Sometimes I think it would be better to read the lines without the false baritones or altos.
    I do hope to listen to Mary Beth Hurt again.


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

    If only I could have! But I also didn't want this story end. I have never listened to a book more than once. But, I can actually see myself choosing this on a winter's day, when there is no where to go. I look forward to that day.


    Any additional comments?

    Anne Leary is a good writer. The characters are all well developed.
    I am a substance abuse counselor, when I am not listening to books. Hildy's behaviors and thought processes all ring true. While you will laugh at some of this stuff, it is really the sad fact that alcoholics will find any reason to drink. Ms. Leary writes from a perspective of one who knows and understands. I never lost empathy for Hildy and that is because the story was written well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Chisholm 06-27-13
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    "Life in a Small Coastal NE town"
    What did you love best about The Good House?

    The character development, seasonal descriptions and intertwining of lives in a beautiful, scenic, small New England fishing village. Lots of technical insights into the jobs, history, family ties of a close knit, maybe too close town.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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