Becky's Reviews > Heading Out to Wonderful

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick
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's review
Jul 26, 12

bookshelves: 2012, audiobook, adult, fiction
Read in July, 2012

Strong sense of place, atmospheric, haunting, sense of foreboding, gothic, ballad-like

Charlie Beale is looking for a place to call home and finds himself in the small, sleepy town of Brownsburg in the Virginia hills. Nothing is the same after he arrives. He finds a job with the town butcher, develops a bond with the butcher’s 5-year-old son, Sam, and becomes obsessed with the very young, very beautiful wife of the town’s wealthiest, fattest and meanest resident, Boaty Glass. It doesn’t take much insight to sense the danger in this relationship. The story slowly unwinds—like a ballad--as suspense builds.

Author explores themes of entrapment; obsession; vulnerability of children ("Childhood is a dangerous place"…"No one leaves unscarred”); religion; hypocrisy and religion; keeping silent.

I thought there were a few frustrating loose ends, but overall the writing is wonderful.

Goolrick is an intriguing author (A Reliable Wife). His stories show both the good and dark sides of human nature—his characters complex, flawed.

Audio narrated skillfully by Norman Dietz. His deep-voiced, slow reading of the novel seems perfectly matched to the story.

Could be a good discussion book.
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