Reader reviews and comments on A Good Hard Look, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Good Hard Look

A Novel

by Ann Napolitano

A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2011, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2012, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 2 of 3
There are currently 21 reader reviews for A Good Hard Look
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Martha P. (Issaquah, WA) (04/18/11)

Not impressed
In this fictionalized account of the life of a famous and revered Southern author, Flannery O'Connor seems only incidental to the story. I hoped to learn more about Ms. O'Connor than that she had lupus, raised peacocks and was a devout Catholic. Cookie was a stock character, Melvin left me wondering what any woman saw in him besides good looks and money, and Joe, Bill and Lona were right out of a soap opera. Admittedly, I laughed out loud at the "peacock stampede". Poor Flannery, she must be turning over in her grave to be portrayed sniveling for forgiveness at an asylum; I would never believe it in a million years. To really know this great author read her work and a good biography.
Barbara A. (Roswell, GA) (04/17/11)

Well worth the read!
As a Georgia resident (but not native), I thoroughly enjoyed Napolitano's exploration and examination of the lives in a tiny Georgia town, transformed by its most famous daughter, Flannery O'Connor. Napolitano does such a beautiful job of connecting the reader with Flannery and those highlighted individuals from her life, it has spurred me on to read Flannery O'Connor's works. I would highly recommend this book!
Carole G. (Hollidaysburg, PA) (04/14/11)

A View From The Grandstand Of Life
This story captured both my interest and my empathy for the various characters from the very first page. As their lives moved forward I sensed a feeling of knowing and understanding each character, their intricacies and motives. A fascinating thread of the ever present peacocks is expertly woven throughout the storyline, perhaps representative of disappointment, passion, dominance, and what you learn to live with. The plot is about life, not as they dream it will be or plan it to be but simply the reality of what is. Lives intermingle, expectations are altered, needs change, people change, opposing forces clash and ... time passes by.
Kate G. (City Island, NY) (04/13/11)

A Look at Small Town Life
Flannery O'Connor was a Southern novelist and short story writer who had moved up North to live and write. She returns home to her mother in this novel, as she has become chronically ill with lupus and can no longer stay alone. As told through the eyes of several of Flannery's neighbors, seemingly benign interactions set in motion changes which affect them all. An engaging story which will resonate even after you have finished.
Linda S. (Arlington Heights, IL) (04/11/11)

A Good Read
I was very curious to read this book since Flannery O'Connor is portrayed in it. I have read O' Connor and found her challenging to read and her stories are just so magnificently provocative. I wanted to see what the author would do with her. I didn't realize how much the book was going to revolve around her. That being said I enjoyed what the author wrote and liked her perspective of O'Connor. I feel that all of the characters were interesting, eventually. They weren't just 2 dimensional. It did get to a point though that it started to become a little too 'soap opera-ish" and that was disappointing.
I would recommend this book to those that know O'Connor, but also to others that want a good read. I also think that this book could propel Flannery back into the spotlight and have readers get to know her work!
Pamela H. (Winston Salem, NC) (04/10/11)

A Good Hard Look at Life and Flannery O'Connor
Absorbing, well crafted novel by an author very familiar with Flannery O'Connor's life, and quite understanding of her work. The novel's plot hung in the realm of possibility for me, with the exception of the seminal event at Andalusia. The manner in which this occurred seemed out of tune to the truth.
Marjorie A. (32606, Florida) (04/06/11)

A Satisfying Read
This book is almost as satisfying as reading Flannery O’Connor. The characters are not as unusual as hers, and yet, to me her themes of morality and ethics that are present in her fiction and essays are a significant part of this plot. Maybe it is because I am a Southerner, or because I am close to O’Connor’s age, I resonated with many of the characters. I am recommending this book to friends
Anne B. (Odessa, WA) (04/05/11)

A Good Hard Look
If you like in-depth character development, this is an excellent book for you. It reminded me of the excellent films of director, David Mamet. Ann Napolitano has a unique way of delving into the souls of her characters, taking you into the depth of each soul while enabling you to understand and appreciate their bazaar behavior. The plot grows and twists in ways that totally surprised me, yet left me appreciative of each the character's reactions -- and I don't normally read fiction. How she was able to involve Flannery O'Connor in this novel was amazing. This is a great read. I couldn't put it down.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Beyond the Book:
  Southern Gothic

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tender
    by Belinda McKeon
    Most of us have heard the slightly trite saying: "If you love something, set it free." But one can ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    A Piece of the World
    by Christina Baker Kline

    A stunning novel of friendship, passion, and art from the #1 bestselling author of Orphan Train.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Fifth Petal
    by Brunonia Barry

    Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of The Lace Reader with this spellbinding new thriller.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Books are the carriers of civilization

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

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.