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The Good House by [Leary, Ann]
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The Good House Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

Leary writes with humour and insight, revealing both the pure pleasure of drinking and the lies and justifications of alcoholism... The result is a layered and complex portrait of a woman struggling with addiction, in a town where no secret stays secret for long. --J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times Book Review So alive, I swear the pages of this wickedly funny and moving novel are breathing. --Caroline Leavitt Fresh, sharp and masterfully told, Hildy's tale is as intoxicating as it is sobering. --People Magazine One of the best works of Massachusetts fiction in recent memory. --Boston Magazine

About the Author

Ann Leary is the author of the memoir An Innocent, a Broad and the novel Outtakes From a Marriage. She has written fiction and non-fiction for various magazines and literary publications. She and her family share their small farm in Connecticut with four dogs, three horses and an angry cat named Sneakers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1812 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus; Main edition (15 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CKD9JPW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #122,323 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think many people could so relate to much of what transpires in this book. The main character, a real estate agent in her 50's, was so human, so funny, so touching at times that I felt myself really empathising with her life, possibly because I am much the same age although not a 'closet' alcoholic! Hildy's doubts and fears were recognisable and her strained relationship with her daughters due to her secret drinking were very real.
There were several places where I laughed out loud at Hildy; one such moment was getting into a boat with her lover where she tried desperately to look as nimble as a 20 year old!
Ann Leary clearly understands her subject and although this was the first book I have read by this author, I will definitely be reading more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Leary's characters leap from the page, and it's no surprise that 'The Good House' is bound for Hollywood. A thoroughly enjoyable study of an independent woman determined to hold her own, and hold her head high in her home town - she's just in denial about one small thing ...
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Format: Kindle Edition
The good house? The good read. Believable characters and dilemmas, very convincing portrayal of a problem drinker. Great tenderness and tragedy, humour and humanity. Turned every page with a heightening sense of expectation. Some very fine writing and great evocation of a place.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It did take me a while to get into the book, however, after a few chapters I had really taken to the characters and as the story progressed became enthralled with what was happening and wanted to carry on reading to the end. I found it very easy to become gripped by the characters in the book, particularly the main character, Hildy who you really feel for at times but at other times want to shout at her to get a grip!

I am always a little wary with books set in America and am never sure how well they will translate being in the UK. I did not feel it mattered at all with this book it could happen anywhere and I don't think I lost any of the story not being American.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the likes of Jodi Picoult as it is very similar in style and story.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely read others from the author.
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Format: Paperback
If you enjoy books with unreliable narrators who keep you guessing as to the veracity of their words then you should certainly appreciate THE GOOD HOUSE by Anne Leary. Hildy Good, the book's narrator, is a woman of "a certain age" who successfully sells real estate, maintains a good relationship with her homosexual ex-husband, has two grown daughters and a grandson, and has (after an intervention) gotten her excessive drinking under control and her life back on track.....at least that's what she would have her daughters and several residents of her Massachusetts home town believe. We all know, however, that devil's in the details and in case of Hildy's addiction it's the denial found within the details that allows the devil to do its work.

Hildy considers herself a MENTALIST of sorts when she says, "I can walk through a house once and know more about its occupants than a psychiatrist could after a year of sessions". "Alcoholics, hoarders, binge eaters, addicts, sexual deviants, philanderers, depressives -- you name it, I can see it all in the worn edges of their nests." Hildy doesn't seem to realize that she is viewing the town and its inhabitants through an alcohol soaked perspective, so the accuracy of her observations regarding her friends and neighbors is questionable. Couple that with the frequent blackouts and memory lapses she suffers after belting down a few (bottles that is) and is it any wonder the reader would question Hildy's insights.

While alcoholism is the firm anchor that grounds the book, it is Hildy's relationship and interaction with the supporting cast that really imbues the story with an underlying uncertainty that drives the plot.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I won this book in a goodreads.com first reads giveaway. The book takes place in Wendover, Boston and the main character, Hildy Good is an estate agent. This book really touched me, made me smile, surprised me, intrigued me, and at times was shocking and sad. It was such a substantial read. The author drops in clues as you read, they emerge along the way to piece together. Many of these were totally unexpected to me so I was glad I hadn't read some of the other reviews for this book because some people did mention some of these things you find out and it would have spoilt it for me to have known about them before. The author had the timing just right and just when you weren't expecting it-another clue. The atmosphere is well created here and smells evoked through the writing. The book has many facets, yet, even with necessary gaps in reading as I was struggling with a corneal ulcer, I could follow the story easily. Hildy says she is a 'recovering alchoholic' yet she stashes wine in the boot of an old car she doesn't use. She thinks wine is not as bad as the 'hard stuff'. Hildy's daughters intervened years ago and Hildy went through rehab. Deep issues in this book yet often I had to chuckle with some of Hildy's ideas about her drinking and not facing up to things. It sort of felt wrong wanting to chuckle at some of these things, after all they were serious issues but other reviewers have also mentioned the humorous aspect so it wasn't just me but sometimes it did feel a bit 'naughty' to want to snigger. The book details her relationships with the town's residents and their relationships and affairs and is very believable and enjoyable. Very powerful, a great book and I highly recommend it.
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