The Good House Audiobook
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The Good House audiobook free
Completely oblivious to the fact that it originated as a book, I stumbled upon the movie while searching for something to immerse myself in on a rainy day. The film turned out to be quite enjoyable, and when the credits revealed its literary origins, I promptly obtained the book. Notably, the book offered an equally satisfying experience, albeit a bit lengthier. Though it lacked a conventional linear plot progression, where events neatly lead to a conclusion, it still delivered an engaging narrative that provoked contemplation. Furthermore, it kindled a strong desire within me to relocate to a New England coastal town. Haha! An excellent choice for a summer read.
The Good House audiobook
Some of the adverse reviews of this book truly get my blood boiling. I firmly believe that anyone who has ever endured the heartbreak of having a family member grappling with alcoholism, or has themselves battled the demon of addiction, will discover a familiar landscape within these pages. Moreover, they will encounter a remarkably insightful exploration of this sensitive subject, embodied in the character of someone beautifully flawed – someone who experiences triumphs, setbacks, and repeats the cycle numerous times. Is she always likable? No, because her addiction leads her to make regrettable choices. Is she deserving of our support and encouragement? Absolutely!
For those readers who found fault with the protagonist not aligning with their ideal main character, I would suggest that there exists a multitude of diverse fiction options tailored to different tastes. There’s an abundance of books available, each capable of satisfying our unique preferences, without the need to disparage those that don’t.
In my experience, this narrative delivers a profound, enlightening, and occasionally sardonic and humorous examination of an exceedingly somber topic. I recently heard on NPR that Sigourney Weaver is set to star in the film adaptation, and I have no doubt she will deliver a stellar performance.
Audiobook The Good House by Ann Leary
Honestly, I almost decided against diving into this book. However, from the very beginning, Ann Leary’s brilliantly captivating concept of understanding someone as intricately as a therapist does by strolling through their home drew me in. Our protagonist, Hildy Good, a realtor by trade, gave me pause for thought. I’ve often contemplated how much insight one can glean about a person by observing their flower gardens, the wreath on their front door, or the books adorning their shelves. So far, so compelling.
Then, out of the blue, we find ourselves at a somewhat pretentious dinner party, which seems like standard fare in women’s fiction. At this gathering, Hildy, due to her Massachusetts roots and a persecuted ancestor, believes she possesses “witchy” abilities and proceeds to offer psychic readings to the guests (frustrating, to say the least). Following this, we’re subjected to a lengthy and rather tedious account of equestrian activities. Personally, I’m not inclined to read about animals, and at this point, I was ready to dismiss “The Good House” as not for me. Nevertheless, I’m averse to giving up on a book, especially one I’d committed to as an Amazon Vine reviewer, so I reluctantly soldiered on.
I’m pleased to report that my persistence was not in vain. Hildy struggles with alcoholism, or at least her well-intentioned daughters believe she does, having recently returned from a stint in rehab that didn’t quite take. Hildy is fond of her wine and doesn’t see herself as having a problem. What follows is a poignant and deeply moving journey through her attempts at recovery. The writing here is so rich and heartfelt that it could only have been penned by someone who has walked this path. Ann Leary has, and I haven’t encountered a more touching account of this type of journey since James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces” (I know, I know, but trust me, Ann Leary nails it). I laughed, I cried, and I reveled in the nostalgic reflections on the 60s. The descriptions of the picturesque Massachusetts coast were simply breathtaking; I longed to be there.
Now, why only four stars? This book is somewhat cluttered, overflowing with characters and situations, many of which are distracting and superfluous. Some vital characters receive disappointingly little development and attention, which is a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, I eventually warmed up to Hildy’s “readings” when she offered a lovely explanation of how anyone intuitive and discerning enough could perform them. I adored that aspect.
In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend “The Good House.” If addiction and recovery intrigue you, this is a must-read. Hildy serves as an unreliable narrator, which I find to be one of the most captivating literary devices. There were moments when she had me completely fooled. The writing is astute, and the book is a truly enjoyable read.
Audio The Good House narrated by Mary Beth Hurt
I’ve been an avid consumer of Ann Leary’s literary works for several years, and with this latest book, I firmly believe she has achieved a new zenith in her mastery of fiction. Narrated by Hildy, a mother, former spouse, seasoned real estate professional, and regrettably, primarily, an alcoholic, Leary guides us through the tumultuous journey of her existence. In her sixties, Hildy presents herself as an attractive, astute woman with a gift for salesmanship that borders on the exceptional. She possesses the uncanny ability to sway a seller or buyer into securing a listing or closing a deal, even if it necessitates invoking her Salem witch ancestry. Hildy is a master at manipulating the game.
Despite her busy life, in which she persuades others to transform their lives through new homes or relocations to better neighborhoods, she deliberately avoids confronting her own shortcomings. Leary skillfully introduces significant supporting characters, including Rebecca McAllister, her daughters, Peter Neubold, and Frankie, a steadfast figure who is often dismissed as “just a garbage man.”
The crux of the narrative revolves around alcoholism. Following an initial intervention by her daughters, Hildy reluctantly enters rehab at Hazelden (a real facility) to confront her disease. Much like most alcoholics, she vehemently denies her addiction. She maintains a secret stash of wine that she visits nightly, and her drinking spirals out of control, first privately, then openly. She experiences blackouts and frequently finds herself in unfamiliar places with no recollection of how she got there. Her denial deepens, and with each passing chapter, the reader is drawn deeper into her downward spiral, carried along by yet another drinking binge.
The choice of setting is pivotal to Leary’s storytelling. The backdrop is a picturesque, affluent New England town where the well-to-do coexist within their own social circles, occasionally intersecting with the middle-class families, each grappling with their own unique set of challenges. Jake, a potentially autistic child, becomes a focal point of both grief and camaraderie.
I adored this book. My only quibble was the occasional repetition of facts or references to characters already introduced to the reader. I’m inclined to believe it might have been a deliberate choice, perhaps mirroring the ramblings of a drunk. Leary possesses an unparalleled ability to captivate readers, drawing us into a tapestry of diverse lifestyles with which we can all identify. In my view, this represents her finest writing to date, and I wholeheartedly endorse this book.
Free audio The Good House – in the audio player below
Nestled within the historic town of Wendover, perched along the rocky coast of Boston’s North Shore in Massachusetts, resides Hildy Good. At 60 years old, she’s a divorced mother of two daughters, Tess and Emily, and a proud grandmother. Remarkably, Hildy maintains an amicable relationship with her ex-husband, Scott, who is openly gay. For years, Hildy reigned as the town’s premier real estate broker, a profession deeply entwined with her lifelong residence. Through her, you’ll become acquainted with the entire community, as she’s been the one responsible for selling them their homes.
However, cracks start to show in Hildy’s life when Tess and Emily become concerned about their mother’s drinking problem. In response, they stage an intervention, leading Hildy to a month-long stay at Hazelden, a rehabilitation facility. After returning home, she believes she has conquered her drinking issue. The urge to drink no longer plagues her, and her days are now filled with various activities. Yet, loneliness creeps in during the evenings, as the townspeople seem to have distanced themselves from Hildy. At social gatherings, she feels out of place, convinced that others are scrutinizing her every move.
One day, her daughter urges Hildy to venture into the cellar to unearth old photographs. While downstairs, Hildy stumbles upon a case of wine. She resists the temptation at first but succumbs when she returns upstairs. Rationalizing that a single glass of wine won’t label her as an alcoholic, she convinces herself she can manage it in moderation. The craving, however, grows insistent and overpowering until she finally surrenders. She retrieves a bottle of Merlot, dusts it off, and enjoys a glass by the warmth of the fireplace. She promises herself that moderation will be the key. Yet, as evening progresses and loneliness encroaches, one drink leads to two, then three, until Hildy has finished the entire bottle. She once reigned as the top real estate broker and now resolves to claw her way back to the pinnacle.
Proud of her ancestral connection to Sarah Good, one of the first women hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Hildy possesses a unique ability. She insists that she can decipher a person’s essence by merely walking through their home, a claim some attribute to her alleged psychic powers.
Within the town, you’ll also meet Frank Getchell, known for his garbage collection business and knack for fixing things. Once the wealthiest individual in Wendover, Frank now clings to his inherited land and antiquated home and cars, all the while holding his money close. Hildy and Frank’s friendship traces back to childhood, with Frank nursing an enduring crush on her.
Rebecca and Brian McAllister, newcomers to Wendover, bring a wave of change. With their wealth, they ascend to the position of the town’s richest residents, a feat made possible by Hildy’s role in selling them their home. Rebecca, an exquisite woman recognized for her equestrian prowess and trophy wins, strangely finds herself on the outskirts of acceptance among the town’s ladies. Her husband’s job keeps him away during the week, only returning on weekends. Hildy and Rebecca forge a deep friendship, bonding over fireside chats, lighthearted gossip about their fellow townsfolk, and glasses of wine.
Peter Newbold, the town psychiatrist, plays a significant role. Married with children, he treats Rebecca for her depression.
As the narrative unfolds, it takes numerous unexpected turns, rendering this book an engaging read. The central character, Hildy Good, emerges as a likable, spirited woman with kindness in her heart, all while grappling with her concealed alcoholism—a constant tug-of-war with the bottle.
Ann Leary’s writing showcases a profound sensitivity toward Hildy, her addiction, and the complexities of her loneliness and drinking. The prose is masterful, gracefully handling the delicate subject matter with precision and beauty.
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