Rated of 5
by Loretta F. (Fountain Inn, SC) Almost Flannery
When I read Flannery O'Connor's short stories in college, I found them thought provoking and disturbingly honest. Reading Napolitano's book was almost like reading Flannery again. I liked the title, so ironic, and so very much like the titles of Flannery's stories. If some of the characters in "A Good Hard Look" had only taken a good hard look, then tragedy might have been avoided. One of the major themes of the novel is our interconnectedness with others. No one acts alone, especially in a small southern town.
My only criticism is the peacocks. While they were necessary to tie the characters and plot together, I thought the author's use of them was overdone, so that the story seemed unbelievable at times. Fans of Flannery O'Connor will love the book, and those who have never read her will want to.
Rated of 5
by Karen R. (Gilbert, AZ) Ambition and Heartbreak
At first a familiar, whimsical account of a New Yorker adjusting to small-town life, inquisitive neighbors, and their private ambitions as well as their heartbreaks, the later portion of the novel darkens when an event alters the course of several characters' lives -- a shift that places Flannery O'Connor in a position of self-inflicted guilt that fans of the author may find too speculative. Readers familiar with Southern Gothic novels may also find the darkness in this one does not reach similar depths; still, the novel presents a redemptive conclusion after several difficulties, and the peacock imagery woven throughout serves the story beautifully.
Rated of 5
by Robin M. (Corpus Christi, TX) A Good Hard Look
Ann Napolitano has produced one of those rare novels which will pull you into another time and place- Milledgeville,Georgia and Andalusia-home of Flannery O'Connor.Like Flannery's famed peacocks perched precariously in a magnolia tree,the inhabitants teeter on the edge of normalcy,living on the periphery of each others lives while inwardly struggling with the isolation and constraints of their own.It is only after a shockingly violent and tragic event that will break your heart that they begin to really see each other and transform their own lives. I would highly recommend this book.it is beautifully written and stayed with me long after the last page was turned.
Amazon cuts off 5200 affiliates in Minnesota(Jun 19 2013) With Minnesota's online sales tax law due to take effect July 1, Amazon has played a familiar card by cutting ties with 5,200 members of its Associates...