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The Good House

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3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,267 Ratings  ·  2,219 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
...more
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2013)
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Kerri It's still in the development phase. Therefor, I imagine it will come out around 2017-2020?
Kerri Yes, but only once in a while, it's done tastefully and doesn't distract from the plot.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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John
Feb 18, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jessica
Feb 13, 2013 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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, “Oh...is 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
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Carol
Apr 24, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, audio-books
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
Jen
Mar 07, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars-or-more
Hildy Good is a middle aged alcoholic. Off the wagon, on the wagon, hanging at it sides and at other times, right underneath it. It’s the only way she knows how to cope. At work, she is a successful real estate agent in Boston’s North Shore but is struggling with maintaining her share of the market. With family, her husband left her as he discovered he was gay and her daughters held an intervention and got her into rehab for the mandated 28 days. With friendships, her newest friend stalks the sh ...more
Debbie "DJ"
Nov 16, 2013 Debbie "DJ" rated it really liked it
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
Lisa
Feb 08, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I stopped drinking for good when I was 22 years old (thank you, Joseph Smith :). That was 13 years ago, and it probably wasn't a moment too soon. It was starting to get a little too much, a little too important, and people around me were starting to take notice. But had I continued, I could easily have grown to be Hildy Good. I recognized a lot of my old self in this character. This is exactly what it's like to be in denial about your dependence to alcohol. I was really blown away by the author' ...more
Sarescent
Dec 03, 2013 Sarescent rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, 2013-books
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
Carol
Feb 06, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013, donate
This book started out all over the place for me, but finally came together, and I realized it was more about the disease of alcoholism than witches and Salem.

60 year old Hildy Good is a successful Real Estate Broker selling upscale historic homes on Boston's North Shore, and is a descendent of one of the witches hung during the Salem Witch Trials back in the 1600's. (she often uses this information to entice her clients) Hildy, however, is in denial about her drinking problem which leads to man

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Melanie
Oct 22, 2015 Melanie rated it really liked it
I just really liked this book! It started a bit slow I thought but it then sucked me right in. The characters are so "real". It was one of those stories I had to keep telling myself "it's fiction Melanie, they aren't real". That's a good indicator for me that I'm going to rate it high. I loved Hildy even though I would have liked to smack her sometimes. It made me laugh and it made me sad. I found out the author is Denis Leary's wife so I googled her and read an article about her writing this bo ...more
Carol
Jul 27, 2013 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-audible, favorites
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
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❀Julie
Apr 30, 2015 ❀Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, favorites
I feel compelled to comment on this wonderful book that is a new top favorite. I would never have guessed by its simplistic cover how it could be so touching and on so many levels, and in ways that I was not expecting as the story progressed. I should mention that I started out reading the book and enjoying it, but halfway through discovered my library had the audio version available so I started listening and following along with the book because the narrator’s voice made the story come alive. ...more
Diane S ☔
Feb 11, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
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
Esil
Jul 27, 2015 Esil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
4 stars for the story and 5 stars for the audio narration. I listened to The Good House on audio, and I liked the story but the audio really made it fabulous. The story is told from Hildie's point of view. Hildie is a 60 year old divorced real estate agent in a small town in Massachusetts and very much an alcoholic in denial. The story itself is clever and well done. Hildie flits back and forth between the present and her past and the town's past. As a real estate agent, she seems to know everyo ...more
Paula
The Good House by Ann Leary is a wonderful book. I listened to the audiobook and was glad I did. Actress Mary Beth Hurt was the narrator and did a fantastic job. Her voice was gravelly and just perfect for 60 year old Hildy Good.

Taking place in a small seaside town in Boston's North Shore, we are shown what it is like to live by the sea. Hildy, a real estate broker, knows many of the town's inhabitants and we are vividly brought into the every day lives of all types of characters. Hildy, hersel
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Dianne
I really liked this book. After several very intense and somewhat disheartening reads, I was looking for something "lighter." You could argue a book narrated by a lonely alcoholic in deep denial isn't exactly light fare, but the narrator, Hildy, made it entertaining and appalling in equal measure. This woman has some issues!

Hildy's escapades and all of her rationalizations kept me glued to the book - I wondered where all of the drinking and blackouts and secrets would land her. Towards the end,
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Dem
Jul 16, 2013 Dem rated it liked it
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
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Jenna
Nov 11, 2014 Jenna rated it it was amazing
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.
Kelli
Sep 06, 2015 Kelli rated it it was amazing
I grew up on the South Shore, though in the seventies and in a town less affluent than Marblehead. It can be argued quite effectively that the North Shore and the South Shore are different worlds but this story is the embodiment of life in a small Massachusetts town. The cast of characters could have been plucked from anywhere around here. Within minutes of listening there was no doubt in my mind that the author was from here.

Once again I'm late to the party on this one as most of my friends he
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☮Karen
Jul 25, 2015 ☮Karen rated it really liked it
Absolutely loved this book, the story, the characters Hildy Good and her sometime boyfriend Frank, and the narrator Mary Beth Hurt was just perfect. Hildy is a successful Massachussetts real estate broker/business owner, with a nice income, 2 beautiful daughters, an adorable little grandson, a beautiful home... and a drinking problem. Her daughters embarrassed her with an intervention and forced rehab, so now she doesn't drink... in front of her daughters. Mostly she gets hammered alone at home, ...more
Valentina
Nov 23, 2012 Valentina rated it really liked it
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
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Connie
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
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Sue
May 15, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it
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
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CC
Mar 09, 2013 CC rated it it was ok
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
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Amy
Jan 24, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
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
Laura
Feb 19, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: group-reads
I liked this read pretty well. It was a subject matter I really had not read before. It was interesting and the story was told by one of the most unreliable narrators. It kept my interest even though at times it was a little wordy.
Iris  Pereyra
As a written book this would've been a 4 stars, as an audiobook I agree with many of my GR friends, this was most definitely a 5 star listen!

Review to come....
Jennifer Masterson
Jan 06, 2015 Jennifer Masterson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I bought this a couple of months ago and probably would have read this book sooner but the cover looked like it might be kind of boring. This is a case of don't judge a book by its cover!!! I absolutely loved "The Good House" even though it took me forever to finish because of the holidays, but it was an easy book to put down for a week and get right back into. Now grant it I'm from New England, grew up riding horses and my family is in real estate, but that's not why I loved it. I loved it beca ...more
Diane
Jan 30, 2013 Diane rated it it was amazing

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
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Michelle
Feb 17, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing
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
Pat
This book was not what I imagined it to be but I still found it entertaining. Hildy Good is the top realtor in her area, just ask her and she will let you know. Also, she is divorced, middle-aged, a descendent of Sarah Good one of the 'witches' hung during the Salem witch trials, and Hildy is unsure of her future. She is always looking for the next big real estate sale to secure herself financially but personally she is a mess -lovable and funny but still an alcoholic mess that everyone but her ...more
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Ann Leary is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, The Good House , as well as the novel, Outtakes From a Marriage , and the memoir, An Innocent, A Broad. Her work has been translated into 18 languages and she has written for the New York Times, Ploughshares, National Public Radio, Redbook, Real Simple among other publications.
The Good House is currently in development for a feature
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“The boys had grown since I’d last seen them. 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.” 1 likes
“Stolen pleasures are always more thrilling than those come by honestly.” 0 likes
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