Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Good House by Ann Leary

Initially I found the chatty style of this book off-putting, but once I decided to treat the narrator – the main character Hildy Good: a divorced mother of two grown-up daughters, grandmother of one, a real-estate agent in her small home town in New England, USA - as a new friend telling me her story, the story of her town: the old-timers and the new-comers, and of her family it fair flew along. I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how and why her marriage had failed. I wanted to know why a grown woman of sixty blushed when she met Frank – the town’s garbage-collector and Mr Fixit. I wanted the back story and I wasn’t let down.

The story follows her friendship with Rebecca a newcomer to town, to whom she sold a house. There is enough of the story centred around animals to engage the animal lover, enough detail around her relationship with alcohol to satisfy the reader who has more than a passing interest in this, and perhaps make those who didn’t think they did have a re-think, and not enough to overwhelm those who truly don’t. There is: the extra-marital affair, the suicide, the child with a disability and his worn-out parents, the old money come-down hard character(s) even a lobster fisherman! There is the family get-together for Thanksgiving, a touch of fortune-telling………

A funny, moving novel from an author I will read again. There is also a transcript from an author interview in the back of the book which makes for good background reading for those interested.

Posted by Catherine

Catalogue Link: The Good House

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