Reviews for Good House

Booklist Reviews 2012 November #2
Wendover's top-flight real-estate agent, Hildy Good, was always the life of the party. Not only could she drink everyone under the table; she'd also capitalize on her heritage as the descendant of one of Salem's persecuted witches by performing convincing mind-reading tricks that wowed with their accuracy. While Hildy admits the mentalist bit is a sham, the drinking's the real thing, one that forces her family to stage an intervention that lands her in rehab. Alas, the treatment doesn't take. Once out, Hildy drinks alone and in secret, until newcomer Rebecca McAllister comes to town. A kindred spirit burdened by an unhappy marriage, Rebecca shares her wine and her secrets about her affair with local psychologist Peter Newbold, insidiously pulling Hildy into her Fatal Attraction-like obsession. As Hildy recoils from Rebecca's delusional fantasies, her drinking escalates to dangerous levels. Leary's powerfully perceptive and smartly nuanced portrait of the perils of alcoholism is enhanced by her spot-on depiction of staid New England village life and the redemption to be found in traditions and community. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 November #1
A supposedly recovering alcoholic real estate agent tells her not-exactly-trustworthy version of life in her small New England town in this tragicomic novel by Leary (Outtakes from a Marriage, 2008, etc.). Sixty-year-old Hildy Good, a divorced realtor who has lived all her life in Wendover on the Massachusetts North Shore, proudly points to having an ancestor burned at the stake at the Salem witch trials. In fact, her party trick is to do psychic readings using subtle suggestions and observational skills honed by selling homes. At first, the novel seems to center on Hildy's insights about her Wendover neighbors, particularly her recent client Rebecca McAllister, a high-strung young woman who has moved into a local mansion with her businessman husband and two adopted sons. Hildy witnesses Rebecca having trouble fitting in with other mothers, visiting the local psychiatrist Peter Newbold, who rents an office above Hildy's, and winning a local horse show on her expensive new mount. Hildy is acerbically funny and insightful about her neighbors; many, like her, are from old families whose wealth has evaporated. She becomes Rebecca's confidante about the affair Rebecca is having with Peter, whom Hildy helped baby-sit when he was a lonely child. She helps another family who needs to sell their house to afford schooling for their special needs child. She begins an affair with local handyman Frankie Getchell, with whom she had a torrid romance as a teenager. But Hildy, who has recently spent a stint in rehab and joined AA after an intervention by her grown daughters, is not quite the jolly eccentric she appears. There are those glasses of wine she drinks alone at night, those morning headaches and memory lapses that are increasing in frequency. As both Rebecca's and Hildy's lives spin out of control, the tone darkens until it approaches tragedy. Throughout, Hildy is original, irresistibly likable and thoroughly untrustworthy. Despite getting a little preachy toward the end, Leary has largely achieved a genuinely funny novel about alcoholism. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2012 December #1

Hildy Good has lived in the same small town on Boston's North Shore for all of her 60 years. She has a successful business selling real estate (though Sotheby's is gaining on her), she married and had two children with her college sweetheart (they divorced when he admitted he was gay), and she likes to drink (her children forced her to go to rehab). After rehab, Hildy started sneaking the occasional drink alone until one of her wealthy clients--a transplant from the city--turns into a drinking buddy, and Hildy becomes privy to a secret she may not be able to keep. A romance with an unlikely suitor and the possibility of the biggest sale of her career lessen Hildy's willpower. Then she must face the reality that her drinking may lead to her professional and personal ruin unless she confronts her addiction. VERDICT In Leary's third book (An Innocent, A Broad; Outtakes from a Marriage) the perils of addiction come to life. Sure to please fans of women's fiction featuring women of a certain age such as the novels of Jeanne Ray and Elizabeth Berg. [Leary is the wife of actor Denis Leary--Ed.]--Karen Core, Detroit P.L.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 November #1

Hildy Good is a realtor in Wendover, the little Massachusetts town where she's lived her entire life. Smalltown life inevitably brings smalltown gossip, and Hildy is no exception: "I know pretty much everything that happens in this town. One way or another, it gets back to me." Suffering from alcoholism and marital problems, Hildy's always in search of distractions. Emboldened by a self-professed ability to read people--bordering on what she considers ESP--Hildy finds the intrigue she's been looking for when Boston hedge fund owner Brian McAllister and his wife, Rebecca, move to town. With her characteristic vigilance, Hildy soon uncovers a burgeoning affair between Rebecca and a local psychiatrist. As confidante, blackmailer, and real-estate broker to both Rebecca and Peter, the psychiatrist who rents the upstairs office, Hildy's entanglements not only threaten the lives of others but also tease out her own problems and self-delusions. In this second novel (after Outtakes from a Marriage), Leary creates a long-winded and melodramatic Peyton Place, but convincingly displays the corrosive and sometimes dire consequences of denial and overconfidence. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincot Massie McQuilkin. (Jan.)

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