In Heading Out to Wonderful, an attractive and enigmatic stranger - Charlie Beale, a loner, recently home from World War II in Europe - wanders into the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village of only a few hundred people nestled in the Valley of Virginia. He brings with him two suitcases: one contains all his worldly possessions, including a set of butcher's knives; the other is full of money.
Charlie quickly finds a job at the local butcher shop and through his work there meets all the townspeople, most notably Sam Haislett, the five-year-old son of the shop's owner, and Sylvan Glass, the beautiful, eccentric teenage bride of the town's richest man. What no one anticipates is how the interaction of these three people will alter the town forever, and how the passion that flares between Charlie and Sylvan will mark young Sam for life.
Told through the eyes of Sam, now an older man looking back on that time, Heading Out to Wonderland is an exciting, erotically charged, and altogether unforgettable story of love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen.
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You can see the full discussion here. This discussion will contain spoilers!
Some of the recent comments posted about Heading Out to Wonderful:
The Bazooka tree was a unique idea. Kids would love that. Great during a party. However, adults must make sure the games in a party or activities for kids are safe. When the gum was put up so high in the tree encouraging Sam to climb to get them ... - terri
Before Sylvan and Charlie get together, you know they are fated to be together; what keeps the pages turning in this electric buildup?
I like to follow a story when you need to experience the build up of a relationship. It is more real to me and a much better reading experience. - laurieh
Coming to terms with life's compromises
In life many people remain in "All Right" on the way to "Wonderful." Rather reminds me of an old Peggy Lee song which laments the question: Is that all there is? - MarieA
Does the revival of "vintage" goods hold appeal for you? Do we have a special place in our hearts for the "good old days"?
I love the idea of vintage goods, and stories of the good old days- both my version of the good times for me, and the stories I grew up with from my parent's generation which became a part of my vision of the past. I think its great, and we all do, ... - judym
Heading Out to Wonderful
I enjoyed this book with its complicated characters. I appreciate that not all was as it seemed and some surprises were there for the reader to discover and marvel at. In fact, I enjoyed the book so much that I have now a copy of the author's first... - Lea Ann
"Starred Review. Goolrick effortlessly creates a timeless, erotically charged tale of illicit passion and peoples it with a unique cast of characters, ranging from a gifted black seamstress to a country girl besotted with Hollywood movie stars and fashion. Finely crafted fiction from a captivating writer." - Booklist
"Like any good ballad, the narrative builds slowly to its violent climax, packs an emotional punch, and then haunts readers with its quintessentially American refrain." - Publishers Weekly
"Goolrick (A Reliable Wife) creates a timeless town where memory of an affair and crime can haunt forever. A lyrical yet suspenseful novel for general fiction readers." - Library Journal
The information about Heading Out to Wonderful 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.
Robert Goolrick is the author of A Reliable Wife and the acclaimed memoir The End of the World as We Know It. He lives in a small Virginia town. Visit him online at http://robertgoolrick.com.
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