The Good House
by Ann Leary
narrated by Mary Beth Hurt
Macmillan Audio, 2013
10 hours and 12 minutes
source: borrowed from the library
Summary (from goodreads):
Ann Leary's 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.
There is so much I loved about The Good House, it's hard to know where to begin. But I'll try...
- the main character: Hildy Good is a 60-ish, alcoholic real estate agent who knows everybody and everything in town. She is both believable and heart-breaking in her justification for "just one little sip" of wine.
- the setting: Hildy's small town on Boston's North Shore is eerily similar to my little village in central New York... waterfront properties, horse farms, even the shenanigans are the same.
- the plot: In The Good House, I recognized my town, my friends, my neighbors, our joys, fears, and our interconnected lives.
A note on the audio production:
When I first heard Hildy speak I wasn't so sure, but it took just moments to realize that Mary Beth Hurt was Hildy Good. I just don't know how else to say it. This story is told in the first person, and I can't even imagine another voice for Hildy. The Good House is easily one of my favorite audiobooks of the year, and quite possibly one of my favorite narrations ever.
The Good House will surely be a 2013 audio favorite... and I can't wait for the upcoming movie starring Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro.