The Children Paperback – 6 Jul 2017
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|Paperback, 6 Jul 2017||
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Ann Leary's The Good House creates a one-of-a-kind character in Hildy Good...By the end you'll be flipping pages, trying desperately to piece together what happened as much as the narrator is doing herself. -- Jodi Picoult on The Good House So alive, I swear the pages of this wickedly funny and moving novel are breathing. -- Caroline Leavitt on The Good House A witty, touching, unputdownable novel. * Good Housekeeping * As always, Leary makes dysfunction, pathology and even tragedy completely compelling. * The Huffington Post * With a deft, sure touch, Ann Leary moves easily and confidently between comedy and pathos, painting a rich portrait of a wealthy, eccentric Connecticut family whose conflicts and loyalties are far more complex than they first appear. As the story unfolds, it becomes a profound meditation on the burden of expectations, familial ties that bind, and the explosive nature of buried secrets. -- Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train I loved this... Ann Leary's compelling tale is satisfyingly layered with unreliable witnesses and betrayals large and small. -- Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand The Children is reminiscent of Anne Tyler at her best... Leary's unique voice and perspective make this the novel you won't be able to put down this summer. -- Ann Hood, author of The Obituary Writer A fast-paced, darkly funny novel. * Popsugar * A read-in-one-sitting romp, Leary's wry and searing satire of affluence and elitism comically yet steadily builds to a sobering and malevolent finale. * Booklist * No one does the unreliable female narrator like Ann Leary...A cautionary fairy tale about what happens when you think you're irrelevantly above it all. * Lit Hub * As in The Good House, the details in Leary's characters are bright. * The New York Times Book Review * Great fun. * PEOPLE *
From New York Times bestselling author of The Good House, comes the charming, captivating and ultimately heart-breaking story of a wealthy - but entirely unconventional - family.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Joan had an affair with Whit and married him. His two kids did not come around a lot. The older was more resentful than Skip who had been too young. And Joan, well she likes things as they are now. She is stuck in that house.
Charlotte whose book this is is also stuck in this house. Really stuck, like has been for a long time. She makes money from her blog and writings so no need to actually go anywhere then. There is even a guy nearby to hook up with. She was comfortable there, but at the same time I started to feel that she really needed to go out and life some. But that is hard for some.
Then there is Sally her sister with issues of her own...
And Skip who brings home his new fiance, who is just so perfect and sweet.
Resentment, buried feelings collide during this summer. And the end was, I honestly can not say anything about the ending. It was real. Life takes, life gives. Life is perfect, life is a bitch. The ending was raw, truthful. Perfect in it's own way.
The book was not that long so I read it pretty fast. I wanted to know what would happen. They were all happy or sort of happy in their own ways. Life was moving forward, nothing major would happen, or would it...
Secrets and family drama to be promised.
Into the family circle comes Laurel who is the fiancée of one of Lottie's stepbrothers. Although Laurel is initially welcomed by all the family her arrival and her actions begin to reveal the hidden secrets and resentments of members of the family. Suddenly things are different as the family members understand what each other really think about things and what happened in the past. People become more vulnerable and relationships begin to crack. This cosy world is beginning to be destroyed and not all of the family members, and certainly not the women, have the skills to navigate the changes without damage.
This is a slow book which rather piled the family history on the reader in one large chunk at the beginning - a family tree might have helped. It is definitely worth continuing to read as the author depicts what happens in a very realistic manner and also shows us how much things can change in a static environment with the addition of one new factor and how dependent many of us, particularly women, are on the kindness of others. This book reminded me a little of Jane Smiley's "A Thousand Acres" although less harrowing.
I enjoyed this story and although I could tell all the way through that things were only going to change for the worse it was interesting to see how the author made everything fall apart and also to see what was left when it was all over. I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Not only are the characters well written and believable, but the location, the family cottage, the setting...all of it you feel as though you are witnessing it as you read. It reads like a movie. I'm sure everyone will picture the scenery and people a little different, but you really get a feel as if you are watching and not reading.
The first 2/3 of this book move a little slow. However, Charlotte's wry narration make it able to get through, plus the constant unveiling of something new every few pages also keep the book moving along. The last 1/3 of the book is definitely page-turning. I read the last third in a harried sitting and couldn't wait to see how it turned out!
Now, all of this comes with a caveat. Not one single character in this entire book is even remotely likable. Not even Joan, the mother. Possibly Everett. The Maynards and Whitmans are thoroughly insane, and definitely sometimes in a funny way, but if you knew these people, you wouldn't want to. You don't really feel bad for any of them, and for what the outcome is.
And on that note is the ending, which while I couldn't wait to find out what the outcome would be it was not in the least bit satisfying. Not to say you feel bad for anyone. There is a bit of anger, because the outcome definitely wasn't at least how I thought it should have gone, but after that, you are kind of like "eh" I don't really care. It's not really satisfying, but there really was no way to make it a satisfying ending unless the entire cast got shot to the moon to live out their lives in isolation.
Perry, and his family, the characters you don't meet, but are spoken about frequently you are led to believe throughout the book is a nasty character, but he probably ran far and fast from this lot, and didn't look back.
Clever twists and turns, some endearing characters, though overall perhaps a bit unmentionable. Still I would recommend it as a page-turning read.