Good House (Leary) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
The Good House has a plot packed with small-town intrigues: extramarital affairs, feuding mothers, a missing child and psychic powers that trace back to the Salem witch trials, to name a few. But the book’s real strength lies in its evocation of Hildy’s inner world.... Leary writes with humor and insight, revealing both the pure pleasure of drinking and the lies and justifications of alcoholism, the warmth Hildy feels toward others when she drinks and the desperation that makes her put alcohol before the people she loves. 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


Leary... gleefully peels back the pretensions that so often accompany portraits of ye olde Americana.
USA Today


A sophisticated turn on guilty-pleasure reading that is so well-written it won't make you feel guilty after all, except maybe about reaching for that third glass of pinot noir.
The Huffington Post


Fresh, sharp and masterfully told. Hildy’s tale is as intoxicating as it is sobering.
People


Superstition, drama, and intrigue unspool at a perfect pace in Ann Leary’s irresistible new novel, The Good House, a tale steeped in New England character and small-town social tumult.
Redbook


One of the best works of Massachusetts fiction in recent memory.
Boston Magazine


Hildy Good is a realtor in Wendover, the little Massachusetts town where she's lived her entire life. Smalltown life inevitably brings smalltown gossip, and Hildy is no exception: "I know pretty much everything that happens in this town. One way or another, it gets back to me." Suffering from alcoholism and marital problems, Hildy's always in search of distractions. Emboldened by a self-professed ability to read people—bordering on what she considers ESP—Hildy finds the intrigue she's been looking for when Boston hedge fund owner Brian McAllister and his wife, Rebecca, move to town. With her characteristic vigilance, Hildy soon uncovers a burgeoning affair between Rebecca and a local psychiatrist. As confidante, blackmailer, and real-estate broker to both Rebecca and Peter, the psychiatrist who rents the upstairs office, Hildy's entanglements not only threaten the lives of others but also tease out her own problems and self-delusions. In this second novel (after Outtakes from a Marriage), Leary creates a long-winded and melodramatic Peyton Place, but convincingly displays the corrosive and sometimes dire consequences of denial and overconfidence
Publishers Weekly


Leary’s powerfully perceptive and smartly nuanced portrait of the perils of alcoholism is enhanced by her spot-on depiction of staid New England village life and the redemption to be found in traditions and community.
Booklist


Hildy is an original, irresistibly likable and thoroughly untrustworthy...a genuinely funny novel about alcoholism.
Kirkus Reviews




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