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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 60-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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Rhonda Morrison on 01-31-13
What a great book, Hildy is a great character!
Would you consider the audio edition of The Good House to be better than the print version?
I wanted to read Leary because she is a transplanted New Englander like me (married to actor/comedian Denis Leary) and I loved her story about alchoholic Hildy, Hilda Good descendent of Sarah Good who was hanged in Salem for witchcraft back in the day. Hildy is 60 year old woman, a real successful real estate agent in small town MA who has been a serious drinker for a long time, and even though her daughters have staged an intervention, and Hildy has gone to treatment, she still finds a way to drink, quietly. What follows is a wild ride with a fix-it guy she is attracted to, weathy nutty neighbors and a great story that really pulls you in. Recommend.
56 of 57 people found this review helpful
By Bonny on 03-07-13
Smart & funny, even when Hildy's not drinking!
I'll admit that I initially downloaded The Good House from Audible because I liked the cover and was semi-desperate for something new/possibly good to listen to, but found out that it is really a worthwhile read. Hildy Good, a 60-year-old realtor and lifelong resident of Wendover, Massachusetts, is a recovering (or not) alcoholic (or not) who narrates her story, along with the changing climate of Wendover and its inhabitants, old and new.
Hildy has recently returned from rehab, explaining to the reader that she is not really an alcoholic, it was simply due to the intervention (or "inquisition") by her mildly annoying and interfering daughters. She befriends wealthy newcomer Rebecca McAllister and they share some interesting secrets that really complicate Hildy's life. Through Hildy's eyes, we meet local psychiatrist Peter Newbold, local garbageman Frankie Getchell, and local electrician Patch Dwight, his wife Cassie, and their special needs child, Jake. Hildy excels at making acerbic, insightful, and very funny observations about her neighbors, but may not be quite as skilled at self-evaluation.
The excellent narration by Mary Beth Hurt (she is Hildy!) makes this one of those books that may be even better in audio than paper. Smart, witty, entertaining, and it made me think, all add up to a really good read.
45 of 46 people found this review helpful