A Good Hard Look
Literary history and fiction gracefully intersect in Ann Napolitano's second novel. (Her first was the well-received 2005 Within Arm's Length.) A Good Hard Look pays tribute to author Flannery O'Connor in both its setting (her hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia) and its title (a sly remake of O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find). The legendary author also makes appearanc...more
Ann Napolitano has crafted a compelling novel in the style of Southern Gothic, incorporating author Flannery O’Connor and her mother Regina into fictional situations with a cast of unforgettable characters.
Young and beautiful Cookie Himmel is the quintessential Southern belle. During a disastrous New York experiment, she meets rich and handsome Melvin Whiteson who follows her back to Milledgeville. Determined to start anew in his wife’s hometown, Melvin find...more
A friend who shares similar reading tastes recommended this book. I owe her a big thanks! This book is brilliantly, powerfully written.
Anyone who appreciates the writings of Flannery O'Connor will find a home when reading this book. It is obvious the writer researched the life of O'Connor and, it is amazing that like O'Connor, the author...more
Flannery O’Connor is an author I have read off and on throughout my life, drawn to her style and subjects at times, put off by her raw emotions at others, intrigued by the literary giants wh...more
The separate plots in this novel weave together be...more
There are some moments in the book whe...more
Melvin is drawn to Flannery O’Connor for her bold honesty as an escape from the extreme state of politene...more
Napolitano has chosen writer Flannery O’Connor as the pivotal character in this fictionalized account and has presented a well developed supporting cast of vulnerable and unfulfilled individuals as ea...more
A Good Hard Look is an amazing story that just might be my favorite book of 2011. The novel is a work of fiction, with author Flannery O'Connor as a main character during the last few years of her life. A life cut short at 39, from complication of Lupus.
The story opens in the 1960's, to the sounds of many screeching peacocks, which belonged to Flannery O'Connor. The author lives with her mother Regina on their farm Andalusia - Milledgeville, Georgia. It is the evening before the wedding of Cooki...more
This story takes place in Milledgeville, Georgia, Flannery O'Connor's hometown. Flannery and her 40-some peacocks are at the center of the story throughout and, in large part, all the other relationships and stories are build arou...more
Life in small town Milledgeville I can relate to.
The first half of the book sets the stage for several strong characters and their exasperating life choices. I kept thinking, where is this going? Are these people crazy or wh...more
A Good Hard Look is set in Milledgeville, Georgia in the early 60s. Cookie, the protagonist is a "frenemy" of Flannery O'Connor. The two women "grew up together", but the story takes place when they are both in their 30s. The story is bittersweet and very engaging.
This is where I must confess that I have never read any of Flannery O'Connor's work. (I was not an Engli...more
For those of us who love Flannery, but have not delved into her life story, this book is fascinating, and sure to spurn further examination of Flannery's difficult life.
For those who are...more
O'Connor figures as one of the central characters, and at first I wasn't sure I would like her; however by the end of the book, I found her a person I would like to learn more about. I have not read much by O'Connor, but do plan to do so. I especially liked the descriptions of Flannery's love and fascination with her peacocks. I don't know how much the rest o...more
Mainly, tho, it's the writing that got to me. Take this paragraph:
"The air in the car, e...more
The characters in the novel seem reminiscent of O’...more