By Ann Leary
St. Martin’s Press, $24.99, 292 pages
The Good House is my first Ann Leary book to have ever read and instantly felt and understood her writing style. It’s one of those books that you can quickly connect with the characters. I love how each character makes Wendover an exciting place to live, from Hildy to Frank and his house of “treasures.” After reading just a little about Leary, I can see parts of her personal life coming through, one that she herself is an alcoholic and she gives Hildy that same trait or affliction. I feel that Leary calling Hildy an alcoholic gives the character a more relatable and tangible feel to the reader, that she is far from perfect and has a lot to overcome in the course of the story; a person with faults to overcome, just like the rest of us – only human. I am more familiar with her husband Denis and his own professional life but I can see where she gets her ideas and draws from her own personal life and that of their common interests when it comes to her own writing.
Much of the book centers on Hildy and Rebecca’s relationship and how it plays out not just with the two of them but with the rest of the town. I didn’t see the ending coming, but I felt that it was wrapped up nicely, no loose ends that made me wonder why this or that. I did enjoy the themes that were present throughout the story – home, family, psychic, and animals just to name a few. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is in search of their next book.
Reviewed by Annie Hicks