We discuss Ann Leary’s The Good House. We’ve been reading so much quit lit and self-help, we decided to read a novel! The Good House by Ann Leary, an NPR host and recovering alcoholic herself, fit the bill. Kirkus Reviews calls this book “a genuinely funny novel about alcoholism,” and we’d have to agree. Hildy, the main character, is super funny, even if her spiraling addiction is not. We talk about the agony of hearing about what you did while drinking, the effectiveness of interventions, and witches!
Note: Please excuse the poor audio quality on Zero Proof Episodes 4 and 5! We thought it would be fun to record some episodes while sitting in the same room and, unfortunately, the recordings didn’t turn out as great as we’d hoped. Thank you for bearing with us— sound quality will go back go normal after these two eps!
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About The Good House
What to expect: A funny, poignant novel about a struggling, high-functioning alcoholic
Pairs well with: A Virgin Mary. Tomato water with jalapeno & basil + horseradish + Worcestershire
“Hildy Good is a townie. A lifelong resident of a small community on the rocky coast of Boston’s North Shore, she knows pretty much everything about everyone. And she’s good at lots of things, too. A successful real-estate broker, mother, and grandmother, her days are full. But her nights have become lonely ever since her daughters, convinced their mother was drinking too much, sent her off to rehab. Now she’s in recovery—more or less.
Alone and feeling unjustly persecuted, Hildy finds a friend in Rebecca McAllister, one of her town’s wealthy newcomers. Rebecca is grateful for the friendship and Hildy feels like a person in the world again, as she and Rebecca escape their worries with some harmless gossip and a bottle of wine by the fire—just one of their secrets.
But Rebecca is herself the subject of town gossip. When Frank Getchell, an old friend who shares a complicated history with Hildy, tries to warn her to stay away from Rebecca, Hildy attempts to protect her friend from a potential scandal. Soon, however, Hildy is busy trying to protect her own reputation. When a cluster of secrets becomes dangerously entwined, the reckless behavior of one person threatens to expose the other, and this darkly comic novel takes a chilling turn.”
—The Good House