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
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
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
Melvin is drawn to Flannery O’Connor for her bold honesty as an escape from the extreme state of politene...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
The separate plots in this novel weave together be...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
There are some moments in the book whe...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 Good Hard Look is Ann Napolitano’s second novel and is structured around the actual life of Flannery O’Conner. She was in fact diagnosed with lupus at the age of twenty-five and moved home to Andalusia where she continued to write, and to “collect” a large flock of birds. These birds, and specifically peacocks, are featured heavily in the novel; their shrilling cries coincide with momentous occasions in Milledgeville, both good and heartbreakingly bad....more
Set in Millidgeville, GA (is there such a town),it is about life in a very tightly-knit community. What happens when everything changes because of choices that characters make? Everything changes in an instant, and nothing can be altered in the state before. People are changed forever.
Wonderful writing. Thought-provoking and insiteful. I enjoyed i...more
Ann Napolitano's new book, A Good Hard Look, is taut, relevant, and richly imagined. This novel, set in Flannery O'Connor's hometown of Milledgeville is emotoinally-charged and exceptionally well written. I hums with life. Under Naploitano's clos...more
She uses the people of Milledgeville, Georgia, it seems, for the characters in her stories. Cookie Himmel is positive that she is Sabbath Lily from Wise Blood. And she hates Flannery for writing her like that, for being able to see right through to her heart, to who she really is.
Cookie meets her wealthy husband, Melvin Whiteson, in Manhattan just as she is ready to"become an old...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
The characters in the novel seem reminiscent of O’...more
Mainly, tho, it's the writing that got to me. Take this paragraph:
"The air in the car, e...more