Jane Smiley brings her extraordinary giftscomic timing, empathy, emotional wisdom, an ability to deliver slyly on big themes and capture the American spiritto the seductive, wishful, wistful world of real estate, in which the sport of choice is the mind game. Her funny and moving new novel is about what happens when the American Dream morphs into a seven-figure American Fantasy.
Joe Stratford is someone you like at once. He makes an honest living helping nice people buy and sell nice houses. His not-very-amicable divorce is finally settled, and hes ready to begin again. Its 1982. He is pretty happy, pretty satisfied. But a different era has dawned; Joes new friend, Marcus Burns from New York, seems to be suggesting that the old rules are ready to be repealed, that now is the time you can get rich quick. Really rich. And Marcus not only knows that everyone is going to get rich, he knows how. Because Marcus just quit a job with the IRS.
But is Joe ready for the kind of success Marcus promises he can deliver? And whats the real scoop on Salt Key Farm? Is this really the development opportunity of a lifetime?
And then theres Felicity Ornquist, the lovely, feisty, winning (and married) daughter of Joes mentor and business partner. She has finally owned up to her feelings for Joe: shes just been waiting for him to be available.
The question Joe asks himself, over and over, is, Does he have the gumption? Does he have the smarts and the imagination and the staying power to pay attentionto Marcus and to Felicityand reap the rewards?
Captures the seductions and illusions that can seize America during our periodic golden ages (every Main Street an El Dorado). To follow Joe as he does deals and is dealt with in this newly liberated world of anything goes is a roller-coaster ride through the fun park of the 1980s. It is Jane Smiley in top form.
The New Yorker
...Yet Joe's sense of who he has become is oddly muffled, a quality that infects the novel as a whole -- as if the author were unable to decide what, finally, her characters are guilty of, or how hard they deserve to fall.
Elle - Daniel Jones
[A] lusty, testosterone-pumped tale, which both revisits Smiley's obsession with infidelity and underlines her remarkable ability to humanize an industry.
Christian Science Monitor - Ron Charles
Everything about Good Faith is in perfect move-in condition...Smiley has invested her best talent in this work, and you can buy it in good faith.
Time - Richard Lacayo
Jane Smiley has produced an irresistible novel of bad manners, a meditation on love and money that Jane Austen might have enjoyed, if she could have handled the sex...
Smiley nails the Greed Decade with her trademark precision and philosophical bite. Blunt and bold the work of one of America’s best writers.
Library Journal - Starr E. Smith
Smiley’s amusing plot is charged with energy, her sense of time and place is on target, and her research into the ways and means of real estate development is seamlessly integrated.
Starred Review. What makes the story beguiling is Smiley’s appreciation of the varieties and frailties of human nature. Every character here is fresh and fully dimensional, and anybody who lived through the ’80s will recognize them–and maybe themselves.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
Starred and Boxed Review. Brilliant and versatile...this expertly crafted and subtly suspenseful tale is also notable for its exuberant eroticism Smiley's sex scenes, and there are many, are truly ravishing.
Remarkable...A novelist of astonishing range...one of the most traditional of novelists, one not afraid of making a point, or of ending a story with a well-found moral.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
I'll start by saying that I've lover other Jane Smiley books, which made this experience hard to understand. Honestly, if I hadn't been listening to it on tape, I doubt I would have made it past page 100. It is not that it is a bad premise or even... Read More
Rated of 5
by Joe Blow
After reading the professional critics gushing reviews I have to ask: what book did they read? First let me say that Moo and Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley are two of my favorite books. As soon as I spotted "Good Faith" on the library shelf,... Read More
Rebecca, a fifty-three-year-old grandmother, is caught unawares by the question of who she really is. How she answers it--how she tries to recover her girlhood self, that dignified grownup she had once been--is the story told in this beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.
Research shows that 90% of Americans value public libraries(Dec 11 2013) According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, about 90% of Americans aged 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an...