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The Good House

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  12,335 ratings  ·  1,850 reviews
A funny, poignant and revealing novel that’s become a huge word-of-mouth hit in the US.

How do you prove you're not an alcoholic?

Hildy Good has reached that dangerous time in a woman's life - middle-aged and divorced, she is an oddity in her small but privileged town. But Hildy isn't one for self-pity and instead meets the world with a wry smile, a dark wit and a glass or t
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
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Community Reviews

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My five star book for the year arrived early it seems, and in rather a roundabout way - the title came up on my library's newly acquired audio downloads lists, and as I'm a fan of actress Mary Beth Hurt, I figured the story would at least be easy to listen to, if not riveting. I was right on that score, but it was so well written that I found myself looking forward to each session.
First of all, I'm a Massachusetts native who's never spent any time on the North Shore, but had no trouble picturing
Jodi Picoult and I do not see eye to eye on books.

I bought this book last weekend because I had read several good reviews here, but didn’t really look at the cover until my boyfriend was parking the car in front of his building. I pulled the book out of the bag, glanced at the back cover, and said, “Uh oh.” Andrew looked at me for a sec and then said, “ that a cover blurb from Jodi Picoult?”

This is the third – maybe fourth – time that a book featuring a cover blurb from Picoult has let m
Hildy Good, the star of Leary's wrenching, darkly funny novel, is a 60-something real estate agent with a gay ex-husband, two ungrateful daughters, a bizarre friendship with her small town's most gorgeous new resident, and a penchant for drinking wine alone at night. She is not, definitely not, an alcoholic, as Good tells us over and over-- even as we witness her skinny-dipping, drunk-driving, making rambling phone calls, and passing out in her cellar, not to mention the exquisitely painful deta ...more
Skeptical. That's how I felt when I first started listening to The Good House. The narrator can make or break the read. When I first heard Mary Beth Hurt's voice I didn't know enough about the character she was to bring to life in this first person narration. I don't quite know how to explain it. Ms. Hurt's tone was a bit shrill, craggy even varying from low rasp to high giddiness in a split second. As I became acquainted with the Hildy Good there is only one word to describe this performance. P ...more
Jul 16, 2013 Dem rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dem by: Judy and Diane
3.5 stars for The Good House by Ann Leary

I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book about a reformed alcoholic but a couple of goodread friends recommended it and I had to give it a go and I am so glad I did as it is a wickedly entertaining and yet sad read.

Hildy Good is a middle-aged outspoken New England Realtor who is top of her game or so she thinks but is hiding her alcoholism from her family, her town and herself. I loved the depiction of small town life and the relationships formed and bro
I didn’t know what to expect when I started this book. The blurb made it seem like it was a light-hearted romp in a small New England town, but it also mentioned that the main character, the narrator was an alcoholic in denial. How can a book about an alcoholic be any kind romp? Well, somehow, it manages to be just that.
Hildy, the narrator, is a ball of fun. She is in complete denial about her alcoholism but her voice is so fresh and light that we kind of go into denial with her. That’s what mak
Jenna  *Puddin Tame*
I really enjoyed this read because it seemed real. It wasn't laced with happy circumstances because, let's face it, life isn't usually that way especially for an off-the-wagon alcoholic. This book was frightening in its realism and I devoured it.
Let me first say to all my fellow readers who recommended this....thank you. Second, let me say I loved Hildy Gold! (and I may have loved Frankie even more!) I could relate to her on many levels.....and not so much on others. But she was full of life, not a mamby-pamby by any means, witty...sometimes wicked and a true delight. Well, a truly delightful character with a drinking problem.

As we age and life changes on us, we adapt...sometimes we do it well and excel in some areas....but sometimes
This audio book is laugh out loud funny. I’m a real estate broker and I’m pretty sure that I’ve run into more than a few Hildys over the years. Mary Beth Hurt is the narrator for the audio version. Her voice and performance are perfectly suited for this charming and bittersweet novel. I can’t imagine reading the book because her voice conjures up visions of Hildy (the realtor) and all of the other wonderful New England characters.

Hildy Good is 60 years old, an alcoholic, luxury home real estate
Fans of unreliable narrators will not want to miss Ann Leary’s latest novel, The Good House. Sixty year old Hildy Good is a lifelong resident of a small town on Boston’s North Shore, and is a descendent of one of the first women tried as a witch in Salem. Hildy is also a successful real estate agent, a mother, grandmother and good neighbor to all. She also is an alcoholic. Of course Hildy herself doesn’t think she has a drinking problem. She seems to have things under control, drinking only alon ...more

Hildy Good, the story's protagonist, is a woman with her fair share of baggage. She's 60, divorced, one of her descendants was hung during the famous Salem Witch Trials, and she is just out of rehab - pressured by her daughters to spend some time there to help her with her alcohol related issues. She is also well known in her in her tight-knit coastal community on Boston's North Shore. She's also a top-notch realtor in the area and, she claims that her instincts about people come from her years
May 15, 2013 Sue rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sue by: John Speer
A resounding thank you to John Speer for being the first to bring this book to my attention. And what a book it is. Hildy Good is a narrator you will not soon forget, a woman with a unique, though perhaps not totally unique, view on the world. We live inside her head during a romp through the lives of many people and events in Wendover, Massachusetts, a north shore community of the rich and not so, a town with history.

Hildy has issues and as you read you will become aware of them and of the iss
Oct 20, 2012 Donura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
5 out 5

I would give it a 10 out of 5 if that was possible.

Wow, oh, wow!! This latest book, The Good House, by Ann Leary hooks you in the first few pages. You don't even know you are getting pulled in until you look at the clock or the page you are on. If you start early, it can be a one sitting book, but that does not mean it is fluffy. By no means fluffy. I wanted to finish it but I did not want it to end. This is the first Leary novel I have read, so now I will have to go search out the others
I didn't actively hate this book, which is my normal requirement for listing something as two stars, but nothing in it added up. So two stars it is.

Hildy Good, a 60 year-old divorced alcoholic real estate agent, with two grown daughters, prides herself in being a lifelong townie in a the small town, Wendover, located in Boston's posh North Shore.

While the setting was appealing and the situation of being a "normal" person amid so much wealth gave Hildy an edge, the book dove into soap opera dra
Malena Watrous
Bought this on a friend's recommendation. I don't think that the jacket copy does it justice. Alcoholic narrator sounds dreary/"problem novel" in a way that this just isn't. Hildy's alcoholism turns this into a thriller, as you watch her attempt to keep control over her life when her drinking is so very out of control. I was delighted (and a bit alarmed) by how much I could relate to her desire for "more, more, more" and her irritability with those who stood in her way. She is a flawed character ...more
4.5+ stars. Loved this book. Loved it. I picked it up on good reviews and am glad I only later found out (or else forgot) the author is Denis Leary’s wife because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have touched it. Hildy Good is our sixty-something realtor protagonist and one of the best female characters I’ve read in a long, long time. She is funny and complex and flawed and unreliable. Truly fantastic. I also loved the Salem witch/pseudo-telepathic aspect to her and her occupation is almost a chara ...more
Diane S.
Can't remember the last time I had such a wonderful time reading a novel. This was brilliantly and humorously done with a very unforgetable character, Hildy at the forefront. I actually envisioned Hildy, as a real person in one of my groups, who I have not personally met but from her humorous postings and her cute avatar, without the alcohol problem, and this added to my enjoyment, Hildy is a divorcee, a mother of two daughters who are on their own, had two dogs, is a real estate agent and is a ...more
Erika Robuck
I read this book in less than 48 hours, and I can safely say that Hildy Good is now one of my all-time favorite protagonists. Sassy, sharp, and complicated, this alcoholic realtor of Salem witch descent doesn't fool anyone with her hard exterior. Hildy's humor, strength, and insight make her a gem, in spite of the fact that she battles major demons of her own, and I will recommend this book widely on my book club visits.

My only complaint is that the book ended. I could have easily spent another
I typically only rate 3 or so books a year 5 stars so I am pleasantly surprised to have stumbled upon one so early in the year. I absolutely adored this novel from the very beginning and highly recommend the audiobook version. The narrator really brings Hildy's character to life.

Hildy is a 60ish year old successful realtor in a very small New England town where she has lived her whole life and knows everything about everyone. She's also extremely sarcastic, delightfully witty, and a recovering a
3.5 stars. I think I was expecting more from this book, otherwise I may have given it an extra star. The tension built and built, and then it took a turn that added another layer of tension...and then it just kind of crumpled there at the end. So much anticipation! I just expected more depth from the characters and from the ending.

Loved the humor at the beginning, but the humor turned dark and then it ducked into the overkill zone. I really feel I got a good glimpse into the mind of an alcoholic
I enjoyed this story of small town intrigue. Hildy Good is a townie and has a real estate business that is doing pretty well considering the market. Hilly has a big personality and has always had a wild streak that has always included drinking with her friends. It has been about a year since her adult daughters staged an intervention and she spent a month in rehab. Now she doesn't drink with friends; she drinks alone at home. In moderation of course! As Hildy goes down the slippery slope of self ...more

How can you prove you're not an alcoholic?

You can’t.

It's like trying to prove you're not a witch.

Hildy Good is a townie. A lifelong resident of an historic community on the rocky coast of Boston’s North Shore, she knows pretty much everything about everyone. Hildy is a descendant of one of the witches hung in nearby Salem, and is believed, by some, to have inherited psychic gifts. Not true, of course; she’s just good at reading people. Hildy is good at lots of things. A successful real-esta

Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

"My first name is Hilda, which my children have always told me sounds like a witch's name, but I'm called Hildy. I live alone; my daughters are grown up and my husband is no longer my husband. I talk to animals..some people think I have powers of intuition, psychic powers, which I don't. I just know a few tricks...I tend to know everyone's business...[and] I'm the top real-estate agent in a town whose main industries are antiques and real estate." p5

This is how our narrator, fifty nine year old
Melissa Crytzer Fry
I received this book through my first-ever First Reads giveaway, and was immediately drawn to the voice of the main character, Hildy Good (she reminded me so much of a Kathy Bates-type, no-nonsense character). Through this often-humorous character, Leary portrays the denial of alcoholism (and all addictions) and its far-reaching impact on family members.

Readers will be taken into the land of real estate to some degree (I assume this is why the book was named THE GOOD HOUSE, though I had a hard t
Set again the backdrop of a small New England town in Massachusetts, The Good House appears to be a novel loosely based on Ann Leary's life...the wife of actor Denis Leary and also a teetotaler who describes herself as 'a wicked bad alcoholic...who no longer drink. She said in a 2012 interview that "Maybe I write well about drinking because I love to drink"...I'm definitely an alcoholic." Main character, Hildy Good, is a late 50/early 60ish real estate broker who, when she's not selling homes, l ...more
Jul 15, 2013 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Judy by: Sue
Ann Leary relates the story of Hildy Good, Realtor, Divorcee and new grandmother with ease and skill. The skill comes in with her ability to give the reader a little tidbit each chapter in the form of a small revelation about Hildy. For example, chapter one will leave the reader thinking Hildy is an honest, almost perfect lady. But each subsequent chapter, the reader finds out Hildy's life isn't so ideal and she problems with a capital P!

I learned a lot about what its like for recovering alcoho
Eileen Granfors
In the categories, I am listing alcohol as a drug.

THE GOOD HOUSE by Ann Leary packs both wisdom and laughs plus a few tears into its 292 delightful pages.

Hildy Good narrates her own story. Like most of us, she tends to gloss over her faults and find something else to talk about. With this unreliable narrator at the helm, we are soon hanging on her every word. We know she's either leaving something out or stretching the truth.

Hildy is in her sixties. She reminds everyone, frequently, that she is
Debbie "DJ" Wilson
I really enjoyed this book, it also scared me to death. A small New England town where the Good family has lived for generations, dating back to the Witch Trials where one of the Good women was burned at the stake. The main character Hildy Good is a top Realtor, and also an alcoholic. We get to see the inner workings of her full blown denial of this disease. Toward the end of the book I was ripping through the pages as it darn near became a thriller. I just couldn't put it down. It had me laughi ...more
Really liked this book about a Realtor with a drinking problem. Interesting look at alcoholism. Yes I know I like books about Realtors - takes one to know one. A good read
Dale Harcombe
This is an entertaining novel and yet the reader gets the feeling it shouldn’t be, since it is such a serious subject that has repercussions on the lives of others. The reader knows Hildy Good has a predicament. She is an alcoholic and despite her adult children who stage an intervention, and finding herself at a rehab centre, Hildy comes out still with a thirst for alcohol. She stays sober for a while but then slips back. The only difference is she has learned to cover her tracks and be crafty ...more
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Ann Leary is the author of the memoir An Innocent, A Broad and the novels Outtakes From a Marriage and The Good House. She has written fiction and nonfiction for various magazines and is a co-host of the NPR weekly radio show Hash Hags. Ann tries to compete in equestrian sports and is a volunteer EMT. She and her family share their small farm in Connecticut with four dogs, three horses, two cats a ...more
More about Ann Leary...
Outtakes from a Marriage An Innocent, a Broad

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