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
    Genre: Novels

    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

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

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

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!

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.

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.

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!

Kim L. (cary, IL)

Injured Spirit
I found this book to be well written. The characters were well developed especially that of Hildy. This is a book that many can connect with, because the characters experiences are all very believable. We have all either heard of or met someone with these issues. Very touching story and one that left an impression upon me.

Jane C. (Brighton, MI)

The Good House
A small New England Community. A local alcoholic realtor. This is an interesting combination for the background of a book. Hildy Good is a quiet, nosy neighbor in this small community, who keeps up with the goings on of the town and knows much of the underlying gossip. The book weaves in and out of the lives of the families who live there. You find intrigue, happiness, unhappiness, and and secrets. All of which makes the book a good read.

...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!

Author Information

Ann Leary Author Biography

Photo: Cathrine White

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, Connecticut with four dogs, three horses, and her husband, the actor, Denis Leary.

Link to Ann Leary's Website

Other books by Ann Leary at BookBrowse
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

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.