Friday, February 8, 2013

ARE YOU LISTENING? THE GOOD HOUSE: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

WELCOME TO BOOKIN' WITH BINGO'S" 
ARE YOU LISTENING? DAY"
I AM EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE TODAY'S
AUDIO BOOK CHOICE..
..
GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE GOOD HOUSE
BY ANN LEARY 
NARRATED BY MARY BETH HURT 
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A riveting novel in which an engaging and wildly irreverent woman is in complete denial—about herself, her drinking, and her love for a man she’s known all her life

Ann Leary's The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston’s North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She’s also a raging alcoholic. Hildy’s family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place—“if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday,” she advises “run for your life”—and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key to her drinking problem.

As if battling her demons wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Hildy soon finds herself embroiled in the underbelly of her New England town, a craggy little place that harbors secrets. There’s a scandal, some mysticism, babies, old houses, drinking, and desire—and a love story between two craggy sixty-somethings that's as real and sexy as you get. An exceptional novel that is at turns hilarious and sobering, The Good House asks the question: What will it take to keep Hildy Good from drinking? For good.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ANN LEARY has published two previous books, An Innocent, A Broad and Outtakes from a Marriage, as well as short fiction and journalism in Ploughshares among others. She is also the co-host of the weekly NPR radio show Hash Hags. Ms. Leary lives in Roxbury, CT with four dogs, three horses, and her husband, the actor, Denis Leary.

ABOUT THE "NOTABLE NARRATOR:
Ann Leary’s THE GOOD HOUSE features a favorite new character: Hildy Good. Hildy is a great real estate agent, great mother, and great friend. She also happens to be a raging alcoholic. People magazine recently called the book, “Fresh, sharp and masterfully told.” Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook HERE . The narrator you hear nailing the voice of Hildy is actress Mary Beth Hurt. You might know her from movies such as Interiors, The Age of Innocence, and The World According to Garp. As shown in this picture, she recently stopped by Ann Leary's event to read a passage from the book.
AN EXCERPT FROM THE GOOD HOUSE:
I can walk through a house once and know more about its occupants than a psychiatrist could after a year of sessions. I remember joking about this one evening with Peter Newbold, the shrink who rents the office upstairs from mine.
 
“The next time you get a new patient,” I offered, “I’ll sneak to their house for a walk-through. While you jot down notes about their history, dreams, whatever, I’ll shine a flashlight into the attic, open a few cupboards, and have a peek at the bedrooms. Later, when we compare notes, I’ll have the clearer picture of the person’s mental health, guaranteed.” I was teasing the doctor, of course, but I’ve been selling houses since he was in primary school, and I stand by my theory.
 
I like a house that looks lived in. General wear and tear is a healthy sign; a house that’s too antiseptic speaks as much to me of domestic discord as a house in complete disarray. Alcoholics, hoarders, binge eaters, addicts, sexual deviants, philanderers, depressives—you name it, I can see it all in the worn edges of their nests. You catch the smoky reek of stale scotch and cigarettes despite the desperate abundance of vanilla-scented candles. The animal stench oozes up between the floorboards, even though the cat lady and her minions were removed months before. The marital bedroom that’s become his, the cluttered guest room that’s now clearly hers—well, you get the idea.
 
I don’t have to go inside the house to make a diagnosis; the curbside analysis is usually enough. The McAllister house is a perfect example. In fact, I’d love to compare my original observations regarding Rebecca McAllister with Peter. She was depressed, for one. I drove past the McAllisters’ one morning in late May, not long after they’d moved in, and there she was, out in the early-morning haze, planting annuals all along the garden path. It wasn’t even seven A.M., but it was clear that she had been at it for hours. She was in a rather sheer white nightshirt, which was damp with sweat and covered with soil. People were starting to drive by, but Rebecca had become so absorbed in her gardening that it apparently hadn’t occurred to her to put on some proper clothes.
 
I stopped and said hello from my car window. We chatted for a few minutes about the weather, about how the kids were adjusting to their new school, but as we talked, I sensed a sadness in the way Rebecca planted—a mournfulness, as if she were placing each seedling in a tiny plot, a tiny little grave. And they were bright red impatiens that she was planting. There’s always something frantic about that kind of bold color choice for the front of a house. I said good-bye, and when I glanced back at Rebecca through my rearview mirror, it looked, from that distance, like there was a thin trail of blood leading all the way from the house to the spot where she knelt.

To finish reading this excerpt, visit the Random House website HERE.

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW OF THE GOOD HOUSE:
Set in Wendover, Massachusetts, Anne Leary’s newest novel, THE GOOD HOUSE, is narrated by the main character, Hildy Good. Hildy is a character that is so well written that you can’t help but like her, no matter what her faults might be. She is funny and means well as she directs the story on a roller coaster ride through her narration. Twists and turns you might not expect add to the appeal of the story. As much as Hildy can be flippant about some things, she also is rather pitifully helpless, and easily hurt. I felt like I knew her right away and my heart went out to her. Hildy is a real estate broker who like most, is struggling in her job thanks to the poor economy. These struggles are not the only ones Hildy faces.

Hildy’s daughters, who are dependant on their mother financially, love her in their own way. They realize she needs help for what she thinks isn’t a problem, her drinking! After an intervention and some rehab, Hildy appears on the surface to have made progress but there are times when one drink at night on her own can’t hurt, now can it? With an ex-husband finally coming out about his homosexuality, her new friend in a bad love affair that is headed for trouble, and her daughters keeping Hildy from spending time with her precious grandchild due to her drinking, it is no wonder that Hildy turns to the bottle for comfort more and more. Help for Hildy comes from a very unlikely person when Frankie, who she has known since they were kids, befriends her and treats her like she never has been treated before. In Frankie, Hildy finds a strong, patient man’s shoulder to lean on in a way most would not have suspected. This is my first Anne Leary book but won’t be my last. I like how she wrote what could have been a very dark, depressing story in a way that one could understand the depth of feelings but also enjoy it as well. The use of humor keeps readers listening and Mary Beth Hurt is a superb narrator who only adds to the deliciousness of this tale.

 
GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO ESTHER AND THE GOOD PEOPLE
AT MACMILLAN AUDIO BOOKS, I HAVE ONE
COPY OF THIS INTERESTING AUDIO BOOK,
THE GOOD HOUSE BY ANN LEARY,
TO GIVE AWAY TO A LUCKY FOLLOWER 

  
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE IN
 

ORDER TO COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY
 
HOW TO ENTER:
+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT THE GOOD HOUSE THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS AUDIO BOOK 

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT HERE ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING AT AUTHOR ANN LEARY'S WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE OTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU CAN COMMENT ON EACH ON SEPARATELY AND GAIN MORE ENTRIES THAT WAY 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
 6 PM, EST, FEBRUARY 20
GOOD LUCK!

100 comments:

Steve Capell said...

I've read other reviews of this author's works and all are positive and your review of her latest book is so intriguing. I'm sure a real estate broker that happens to be a raging alcoholic can cook up some interesting reading. Thanks for the opportunity.

steven.capell@gmail.com

debbie said...

I would like to see what it takes for her to quit drinking.
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Pamela Keener said...

Thanks for the review and giveaway. This book sounds entertaining and enlightening and I am putting this on my must have list.
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traveler said...

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bermudaonion said...

I'd love to read this since the author uses humor to cut the tension in the story.

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Tina said...

the main character in this one sounds like she was made for audio. I definitely want this one.

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I found out Ann Leary is a volunteer EMT. That rocks!

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petite said...

Sounds great. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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rubynreba said...

I'm in need of a really interesting book to listen in the car! The narration of this sounds very good.
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Misusedinnocence said...

This sounds like a great story. My Mom was an alcoholic, and I feel like it may be a therapeutic listen for me.

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Misusedinnocence said...

I love that the author is a volunteer EMT!

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Sue Farrell said...

I was drawn in by the excerpt---the alcoholism and the real life observations.
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Linda Kish said...

Reading the review and excerpt draws you in. It made me feel like I knew her and felt sorry for her. But I like how the humor was added into the story.

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Linda Kish said...

She is an excellent kitten tamer... just look at the photo for proof.

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Carol N Wong said...

I really like the excerpt. The author's style shown thrown and also I have never read a book on this topic. Loved your review. Since we recently sold our house,I am very intersted in the lives of real estates agents! Ours told me that the only thing that she misses about her job is having time to read! That makes me feel sad for her.

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I went to her blog and found out that her last book signing had been cancelled because of snow. She has some great pictures of her dogs playing in the snow.

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holdenj said...

I really enjoyed the first one and can't wait to see what Lila gets up to now that she's a full time literary agent.
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