The Good House by Ann Leary

The Good House by Ann Leary

I have to begin by saying that I didn’t have high hopes for The Good House: A Novel by Ann Leary.  Somehow, I wrongly thought that Ann Leary was probably not a very good author who only got published because she was married to Dennis Leary. 

I was wrong.  Very wrong.  I loved The Good House.  From the very first page:

“I like a house that looks lived in.  General wear and tear is a healthy sign; a house that’s too antiseptic speaks as much to me of domestic discord as a house in complete disarray.  Alcoholics, hoarders, binge eaters, addicts, sexual deviants, philanderers, depressives – you name it, I can see it all in the worn edges of their nests.”

or later in the story:

“I wouldn’t have recognized them in a group, but I find that the older i get, the more kids just look like kids.  I don’t really notice them as much as I used to.  On the other hand, I could have instantly picked Harry out of a lineup of similarly marked German shepherds, were there ever a need to do so.  Harry was a wonderful character.  The boys were just boys.”

The story is told by Hildy Good – who happens to be a descendant of Sarah Good who was persecuted as a witch during the Salem witch trials, she also happens to be an alcoholic.  I thought that her portrayal as an alcoholic was very well done.  The way her constant need for a drink wove it’s way through her life.  When even not having a drink was was saying as much about her alcoholism as having one.  

The book is both humorous and sad, and entertaining through it all.

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  1. says

    I just read this as well — and loved it! I’m glad I didn’t realize until the end that she was Denis’ wife or I might have blown it off, thinking it was fluff.

  2. says

    This is my next read. I just got it. I saw Ann Leary on television a few days ago and thought it sounded interesting. Glad to hear you liked it.

  3. says

    Until now, I hadn’t planned to read this. You’ve convinced me. Love that first quote. Our house is far from antiseptic. :)