The Good House by Ann Leary
A Novel

82%

10 Critic Reviews

Despite getting a little preachy toward the end, Leary has largely achieved a genuinely funny novel about alcoholism.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Now a New York Times Bestseller!

How can you prove you're not an alcoholic?

You can't.

It's like trying to prove you're not a witch.

Hildy Good is a townie. A lifelong resident of an historic community on the rocky coast of Boston's North Shore, she knows pretty much everything about everyone. Hildy is a descendant of one of the witches hung in nearby Salem, and is believed, by some, to have inherited psychic gifts. Not true, of course; she's just good at reading people. Hildy is good at lots of things. A successful real-estate broker, mother and grandmother, her days are full. But her nights have become lonely ever since her daughters, convinced their mother was drinking too much, staged an intervention and sent her off to rehab. Now she's in recovery—more or less.

Alone and feeling unjustly persecuted, Hildy needs a friend. She finds one in Rebecca McCallister, a beautiful young mother and one of the town's wealthy newcomers. Rebecca feels out-of-step in her new surroundings and is grateful for the friendship. And Hildy feels like a person of the world again, as she and Rebecca escape their worries with some harmless gossip, and a bottle of wine by the fire—just one of their secrets.

But not everyone takes to Rebecca, who is herself the subject of town gossip. When Frank Getchell, an eccentric local who shares a complicated history with Hildy, tries to warn her away from Rebecca, Hildy attempts to protect her friend from a potential scandal. Soon, however, Hildy is busy trying to cover her own tracks and protect her reputation. When a cluster of secrets become dangerously entwined, the reckless behavior of one threatens to expose the other, and this darkly comic novel takes a chilling turn.

THE GOOD HOUSE, by Ann Leary is funny, poignant, and terrifying. A classic New England tale that lays bare the secrets of one little town, this spirited novel will stay with you long after the story has ended.

 

About Ann Leary

See more books from this 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 nonfiction for various magazines and literary publications and is a co-host of the NPR weekly radio show Hash Hags. Ann competes in equestrian sports and is a volunteer EMT. She and her family share their small farm in Connecticut with four dogs, three horses and an angry cat named Sneakers.
 
Published January 15, 2013 by St. Martin's Press. 302 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon29
Peak Rank on Feb 24 2013
icon1
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Good House
All: 10 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Nov 01 2012

Despite getting a little preachy toward the end, Leary has largely achieved a genuinely funny novel about alcoholism.

Read Full Review of The Good House: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by J. Courtney Sullivan on Mar 08 2013

Leary writes with humor and insight, revealing both the pure pleasure of drinking and the lies and justifications of alcoholism...

Read Full Review of The Good House: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Nov 05 2012

Leary creates a long-winded and melodramatic Peyton Place, but convincingly displays the corrosive and sometimes dire consequences of denial and overconfidence.

Read Full Review of The Good House: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Rhetta Akamatsu on Mar 11 2014

This is one of the best fictional depictions of addiction I have ever read, never becoming maudlin...And as for Hildy, she is not always nice. But you will always care about her and at the end of the book you will be glad you made her acquaintance. The book is highly recommended.

Read Full Review of The Good House: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Nancy Fontaine on Jun 20 2013

The Good House is a fabulous read. Author Ann Leary’s prose is accessible and vivid.

Read Full Review of The Good House: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Examiner

Good
on Jan 24 2013

Point of view aside, humor meets harsh reality in this irreverent look at a non-recovering alcoholic navigating the murky waters of small town Massachusetts.

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RT Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by M.H. Morrison on Mar 21 2014

...quirky, yet very real elements, make Leary’s novel one that may be slow to jell, but once events begin to snowball, readers will be riveted.

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USA Today

Good
on Jan 31 2013

‘The Good House’ stands on a strong foundation.

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Huffington Post

Good
Reviewed by Nancy Doyle Palmer on Jan 14 2013

Ann Leary's latest novel The Good House will have you reaching for a big glass of wine...while Leary keeps her own story under wraps she once again delivers a sharply honest narrative.

Read Full Review of The Good House: A Novel

Shelf Awareness

Good
on Jan 08 2013

Hildy Good, the narrator of Leary's second novel, is a fresh and vulnerable observer as the rich take over the simple traditional world of her New England coastal town.

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Reader Rating for The Good House
77%

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Terri McGinty

Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

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