The Good House: Book summary and reviews of The Good House by Ann Leary

The Good House

By Ann Leary

The Good House
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Jan 2013,
    304 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

A riveting novel in which an engaging and wildly irreverent woman is in complete denial - about herself, her drinking, and her love for a man she's known all her life.

The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it's not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key to her drinking problem.

As if battling her demons wasn't enough to keep her busy, Hildy soon finds herself embroiled in the underbelly of her New England town, a craggy little place that harbors secrets. There's a scandal, some mysticism, babies, old houses, drinking, and desire - and a love story between two craggy sixty-somethings that's as real and sexy as you get. An exceptional novel that is at turns hilarious and sobering, The Good House asks the question: What will it take to keep Hildy Good from drinking? For good.

A hilarious and sobering novel about life, love, real estate, and a little too much Pinot Noir

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

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

"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 genius is to give us a true original: Hildy, a not-so-recovering alcoholic/realtor who crashlands among a colorful cast of New England neighbors, but Leary also says a great deal about the houses we choose to live, the people we're compelled to love, and the addictions we don't want to give up. So alive, I swear the pages of this wickedly funny and moving novel are breathing." - Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

"I opened The Good House and was instantly sucked in; I read the whole thing in one sitting and was sorry when it ended. The story is atmospheric, funny, poignant, gritty, and romantic, and Hildy Good is refreshingly candid and lovably flawed." - Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man

The information about The Good House shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Julie D. (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA)
Another hit by Ann Leary
When I got the message that I had a won a copy of Ann Leary's The Good House I was so excited. I loved her previous book and couldn't wait to get into this one.

The Good House doesn't disappoint and is filled a cast of great characters. As you read, the characters all become so multidimensional providing great conversation if you are in a book club.

Don't miss this one!

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Barbara P. (Worcester, MA)
The Good House
The Good House was an easy read. It was nice to find a local New England author to add to my reading list. The setting was familiar in the community of locals and the wealthy newcomers. The characters reflect a mix of lives of the professional business person to the locals with sparks of romance and everyday involvements.
Hopefully someone will read Hildy's palm and direct her future.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Melissa P. (Greenville, New York)
The Good House
Hildy Good is a descendant of Sarah Good, Salem witch. Hildy's curse is alcoholism. Her family stages an intervention and sends her to rehab. Little do they know that after rehab, Hildy drinks alone at night from the bottles in her cellar, while declaring herself alcohol free. But Hildy cannot pull off this farce forever, and it eventually all catches up to her. Along with Hildy's story, the novel also details an affair between Peter and Rebecca, the trials of a couple with an autistic son and the other happenings of the small town.

I liked the writing of this book. Leary is good at description of both character and setting. Hildy was a character that I went back and forth between liking and hating. Liking won out in the end. The book was a bit slow in the middle but quickly accelerated and kept my interest until the end.

I received a copy of this book from BookBrowse for review.

http://melissasbookpicks.blogspot.com

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Cynthia A. (Grand Rapids, MI)
The Good House
"The Good House" captures so many aspects of alcoholism in such a gentle way. Denial, blackouts, the life style, shame, embarrassment and the long lasting effects it has on everyone involved is all a part of this book. Because it is written in first person the reader gets right into the alcoholics head.

I loved this book. It is fast moving, funny, interesting, enjoyable and so REAL.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Debra C. (Vienna, Georgia)
The Good House...a MUST READ for 2013!
Ann Leary's "The Good House" snatched me in with it's first sentence and never let me leave until it's last. Filled with freshly crisp dialogues, settings packed with rich New England details, unforgettable characters full of depth, chilling pasts, and the possibilities of unforgiving futures. Leary's tale fulfills you; the reader will laugh uncontrollably, weep without regard, smile, wonder, fret, but in the end, you truly long to give Hil a call and list your house.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Dawn C. (Meridian, ID)
The Good House by Ann Leary
I thought this book was really fun, poignant, & thought-provoking. Hildy is a realtor who lives in a small New England town. She thinks she can drink in moderation, when she is in fact an alcoholic. But as always, she is in denial. The characters are fun & remind you of people you know. I found the romance as 60 fun & encouraging. Very fun book!

...21 more reader reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Information

More Information

Ann Leary has published two previous books, An Innocent, A Broad and Outtakes from a Marriage, as well as short fiction and journalism in Ploughshares among others. She is also the co-host of the weekly NPR radio show Hash Hags. Ms. Leary lives in Roxbury, CT with four dogs, three horses, and her husband, the actor, Denis Leary.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

More Recently Published Novels

more...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and ambitious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.