When She Was Good by Philip Roth
(Vintage International)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



In this funny and chilling novel, the setting is a small town in the 1940s Midwest, and the subject is the heart of a wounded and ferociously moralistic young woman, one of those implacable American moralists whose "goodness" is a terrible disease.

When she was still a child, Lucy Nelson had her alcoholic failure of a father thrown in jail. Ever since then she has been trying to reform the men around her, even if that ultimately means destroying herself in the process. With his unerring portraits of Lucy and her hapless, childlike husband, Roy, Roth has created an uncompromising work of fictional realism, a vision of provincial American piety, yearning, and discontent that is at once pitiless and compassionate.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Philip Roth

See more books from this Author
Philip Roth was born in New Jersey in 1933.  He studied literature at Bucknell University and the University of Chicago.  His first book, Goodbye, Columbus, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1960.  He has lived in Rome, London, Chicago, New York City, Princeton, and New England.  Since 1955, he has been on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where is now Adjunct Professor of English.  He is also General Editor of the Penguin Books series "Writers from the Other Europe."  Recently he has been spending half of each year in Europe, traveling and writing.
Published April 20, 2011 by Vintage. 322 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for When She Was Good

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Even though Roth has written only one collection of short stories and one novel, he was quickly established as one of the ablest writers to make the Jewish scene.

Oct 04 2011 | Read Full Review of When She Was Good (Vintage In...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

(No criticism of the authors intended, of course, they can only write what's there.) "When She Was Good" suggests that when such a novel is written, it may well be written by a Jew: not because Jews are the only people who still believe in the high-strung, socially impacted novel (it only seems l...

Jun 11 1967 | Read Full Review of When She Was Good (Vintage In...

Reader Rating for When She Was Good

An aggregated and normalized score based on 21 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review