Manual A Good House

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The Good House book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. A funny, poignant and revealing novel that's become a huge word-o.
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Hildy Good is spirited, a shrewd businesswoman, frequently sharp tongued and a contrast of a bitter and loving woman. She is a woman that I came to care about and one I wish I knew and could call friend. I am positive that the blend of good story, good writing by Ann Leary, and excellent narration by Mary Beth Hurst made this a winner. View all 30 comments. Oct 25, Paula Kalin rated it it was amazing Shelves: audio-book , favorite-authors , read-in , award-winner , contemporary , literary-fiction , published , favorite-books. The Good House by Ann Leary is a wonderful book. I listened to the audiobook and was glad I did.

Actress Mary Beth Hurt was the narrator and did a fantastic job. Her voice was gravelly and just perfect for 60 year old Hildy Good. Taking place in a small seaside town in Boston's North Shore, we are shown what it is like to live by the sea. Hildy, a real estate broker, knows many of the town's inhabitants and we are vividly brought into the every day lives of all types of characters.

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Hildy, herself, is dependent on alcohol, but in denial. Some parts of the story are difficult to listen to, especially when she has had one of her blackouts. My favorite relationship in the book is the long time friendship Hildy has with Frank, the town's junkman and millionaire in disguise. Frank takes such good care of Hildy without her realizing it. Personally I really took to this book as I live North of Boston and spend a lot of time sea glass hunting on the beaches of Gloucester and Rockport.

Rounded up due to the audiobook.

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View all 22 comments. My five star book for the year arrived early it seems, and in rather a roundabout way - the title came up on my library's newly acquired audio downloads lists, and as I'm a fan of actress Mary Beth Hurt, I figured the story would at least be easy to listen to, if not riveting.

I was right on that score, but it was so well written that I found myself looking forward to each session. First of all, I'm a Massachusetts native who's never spent any time on the North Shore, but had no trouble picturing My five star book for the year arrived early it seems, and in rather a roundabout way - the title came up on my library's newly acquired audio downloads lists, and as I'm a fan of actress Mary Beth Hurt, I figured the story would at least be easy to listen to, if not riveting.

First of all, I'm a Massachusetts native who's never spent any time on the North Shore, but had no trouble picturing action as it took place, with the characters resonating fully - they were definitely not "stock" ones. Some reviewers found the number presented a bit tough to keep track of, but there aren't all that many principal players: Hildy, Frankie, Peter and Rebecca. Accept that the rest are supporting players to advance the plot, and you'll do fine. With that said, let's talk about Hildy If you've read the blurbs, you know already that she's an unreliable narrator - to say she lacks self-awareness would be putting it too mildly.

She's emerged from a day more or less forced alcohol rehab, which she resented then, and is still bitter about when we meet her. Leary reveals pieces of her past, indicating that our heroine loves the role of Big Fish, though the Small Pond, perhaps not so much.


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She's made a name for herself, a truly outstanding businessperson, unlike the Townies to whom she feels superiority; however, she's older, alone, and no raving beauty. Perfect conflict for a drinking problem, no? No spoiler - thanks again to those blurbs - that she resumes her drinking not far into the book, which anyone can see will cause Big Problems as the story progresses - "trainwreck" territory, but how bad will things get, and will Hildy "reform"?

Plenty, and maybe. The tension ratchets up for last part, almost as though Gillian Flynn of Gone Girl fame had ghostwritten a couple of chapters. Mary Beth Hurt, and the narrators of Flynn's novel, each deserve Audie awards for their voices: true six star performances! View all 16 comments. Nov 29, Jessica Jeffers rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction. Jodi Picoult and I do not see eye to eye on books. The Good House is about Hildy, an alcoholic in denial in a small town north of Boston. Hildy is also trying to sell a house for Claire, a woman whose son has a severe developmental disability and needs to move closer to an appropriate school.

I had several problems with this book, the first of which is how Leary tries to tie these myriad stories together. Then, all of a sudden, Leary pushes all the stories together and it just didn't feel natural at all. For example, Hildy is descended from one of the first women tried for witchcraft in Salem.

Also, in the opening pages of the book Hildy, a real estate agent, talks about how she can often tell you what a family was like based on the condition of their house when they are getting ready to sell it. That makes perfect sense, but then Hildy goes on to give an example of how she once saw Rebecca planting flowers in her night gown at six in the morning and realized she was depressed. The biggest problem, for me, though, is that Hildy is just not a good choice for a narrator.

Leary needs to study up on unreliable narrators a bit more before the next book. She also needs to study up a bit on mental illness, because the way that she depicts it in this book troubled me quite a bit. View all 21 comments. This audio book is laugh out loud funny. Mary Beth Hurt is the narrator for the audio version. Her voice and performance are perfectly suited for this charming and bittersweet novel.

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Hildy Good is 60 years old, an alcoholic, luxury home real estate This audio book is laugh out loud funny. Hildy Good is 60 years old, an alcoholic, luxury home real estate agent and the mother of all unreliable narrators.

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She is recently out of a stay in an alcoholic treatment center after an intervention prearranged by her two adult daughters. The author completely nails her obsession with alcohol. I loved Frank. Small town life and the residents of this upscale community at the North Shore of Massachusetts are skillfully depicted by the author. This is an excellent book, totally enjoyable and often hilarious.

I look forward to reading more books by Ann Leary. View all 24 comments. Feb 01, Lisa rated it it was amazing. I stopped drinking for good when I was 22 years old thank you, Joseph Smith :. That was 13 years ago, and it probably wasn't a moment too soon. It was starting to get a little too much, a little too important, and people around me were starting to take notice. But had I continued, I could easily have grown to be Hildy Good. I recognized a lot of my old self in this character.

This is exactly what it's like to be in denial about your dependence to alcohol. I was really blown away by the author' I stopped drinking for good when I was 22 years old thank you, Joseph Smith :. I was really blown away by the author's insight and ability to show this denial in a completely believable way from the alcoholic's point of view. Some reviewers said that this was a funny book, but I wasn't laughing. I found this story to be deadly serious and real. I enjoyed it, but it was not a comfortable read for me. There are scenes in this book that really made me cringe.

I thought it was so well done and perceptive. So despite a bit of a slow start, this book really worked for me on multiple levels. I won't be forgetting this one. View all 32 comments. Aug 31, Jen rated it really liked it. Hildy Good is a middle aged alcoholic. Off the wagon, on the wagon, hanging at it sides and at other times, right underneath it. With family, her husband left her as he discovered he was gay and her daughters held an intervention and got her into rehab for the mandated 28 days.

With friendships, her newest friend stalks the sh Hildy Good is a middle aged alcoholic. With friendships, her newest friend stalks the shrink she had an affair with. She is surprisingly a likeable and flawed character and I actually sympathized with her at various times throughout the story. There were some surprising twists and turns and overall, it was an unexpected good read. View all 28 comments. Oct 25, Beverly rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

An insightful and brilliant look into the damaged pysche of a drunk, the woman in question is ish and looks successful and happy on the outside, but is a mess. Her own daughters' sponsor an intervention for her and she goes to rehab against her will, but secretly drinks again as soon as she gets out. She has frequent black-outs and drives during them. She befriends a new client the main character is a real estate agent a young woman who is equally damaged and they feed off each other, encour An insightful and brilliant look into the damaged pysche of a drunk, the woman in question is ish and looks successful and happy on the outside, but is a mess.

She befriends a new client the main character is a real estate agent a young woman who is equally damaged and they feed off each other, encouraging each other's bad behavior, and send them into a spiral of destructive actions with another's suicide as a result. View all 3 comments. Nov 06, Debbie "DJ" rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed this book, it also scared me to death. A small New England town where the Good family has lived for generations, dating back to the Witch Trials where one of the Good women was burned at the stake.

The main character Hildy Good is a top Realtor, and also an alcoholic. We get to see the inner workings of her full blown denial of this disease. Toward the end of the book I was ripping through the pages as it darn near became a thriller. I just couldn't put it down. It had me laughi I really enjoyed this book, it also scared me to death. It had me laughing, and then filled with terror.

I highly recommend this one. View all 11 comments. Jan 27, Sarescent rated it really liked it Shelves: books , favorites. Hildy Good, the star of Leary's wrenching, darkly funny novel, is a something real estate agent with a gay ex-husband, two ungrateful daughters, a bizarre friendship with her small town's most gorgeous new resident, and a penchant for drinking wine alone at night. She is not, definitely not, an alcoholic, as Good tells us over and over-- even as we witness her skinny-dipping, drunk-driving, making rambling phone calls, and passing out in her cellar, not to mention the exquisitely painful deta Hildy Good, the star of Leary's wrenching, darkly funny novel, is a something real estate agent with a gay ex-husband, two ungrateful daughters, a bizarre friendship with her small town's most gorgeous new resident, and a penchant for drinking wine alone at night.

She is not, definitely not, an alcoholic, as Good tells us over and over-- even as we witness her skinny-dipping, drunk-driving, making rambling phone calls, and passing out in her cellar, not to mention the exquisitely painful details of the next morning's humiliating hangovers. If Leary made Good too sympathetic or likeable, this book would have turned into dull Picoult-esque tripe, chick lit masquerading as women's literature. After all, what single woman wouldn't sympathize with Good, a former wife who was tossed aside by her husband, a mother who has become a walking credit card for her struggling adult daughter, a hard-working small business owner struggling to stay afloat in the corporate sea.

Leary goes in the opposite direction, layering Good with narcissism and self-denial that only highlights her deep, bitter well of loneliness. Through all her struggles, Good is her own worst enemy.

We watch her make mistake after mistake, fail and promise never to fail again, and we pity her and worry for her, and then want to slap her across the face until she gets some sense. Good is, to put it simply, a great character, who will probably turn out to be one of the most memorable of The other tightly-drawn characters in the book include Rebecca, the wealthy newcomer whose perfect facade eventually slips and reveals a needy, unhinged, incredibly unhappy woman; Peter, the town psychologist who is drawn to Rebecca like she's an undertow he's unable to escape; and Frank, the town handyman who shares a complicated history with Hildy and always seems to turn up when she needs him.

Leary does an amazing job of creating an entire village of great characters with beautifully detailed back stories that provide so much context for the events we watch unfold. View all 5 comments. Can't remember the last time I had such a wonderful time reading a novel. This was brilliantly and humorously done with a very unforgetable character, Hildy at the forefront. I actually envisioned Hildy, as a real person in one of my groups, who I have not personally met but from her humorous postings and her cute avatar, without the alcohol problem, and this added to my enjoyment, Hildy is a divorcee, a mother of two daughters who are on their own, had two dogs, is a real estate agent and is a Can't remember the last time I had such a wonderful time reading a novel.

I actually envisioned Hildy, as a real person in one of my groups, who I have not personally met but from her humorous postings and her cute avatar, without the alcohol problem, and this added to my enjoyment, Hildy is a divorcee, a mother of two daughters who are on their own, had two dogs, is a real estate agent and is a very big personality with many witty opinions and a huge case of self denial.

Although this is great fun to read, at its heart it does tackle a very serious problem, one Hildy must come to terms with in her own way and in her own time. Does she? Well read it and find out. View 1 comment. Mar 10, Carol rated it really liked it Shelves: read , donate.

This book started out all over the place for me, but finally came together, and I realized it was more about the disease of alcoholism than witches and Salem. View all 23 comments. I listened to The Good House on audio, and I liked the story but the audio really made it fabulous. Ask yourself repeatedly if your life can support a home renovation. Not only does a renovation take money, it takes time, energy and emotional stress. But be sure to find ways to add value, or at least be certain the home will hold its value.

Check out the median home value in the neighborhood as it compares to neighborhoods around it. The Zillow Home Value Index gives you one, five, and year snapshots of how home values have gone up or down in neighborhoods and cities. Many people overlook the monthly fees associated with homeownership. Nearly every property will have taxes, and any sort of planned community or homeowners association HOA will have regular assessments.

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Be sure that the amount of property tax and assessments are clear from the get-go. If in doubt, go to city hall or do research online. Any mention of changes coming down the pike? Does the HOA seem well funded? He has collaborated on multiple real estate books and his expert advice is regularly sought out by print, online and television media outlets like FOX News, CNBC and Forbes.

An avid investor, Brendon owns real estate around the US and abroad and is licensed to sell in two states. You can find Brendon online or follow him on Twitter. Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow. We are a real estate marketplace dedicated to helping homeowners, home buyers, sellers, renters, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, landlords and property manag Zillow is your one-stop source for real estate news and information.

Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Buyers spend a lot of time looking at properties online, touring homes on the Sunday open house circuit, and talking to their real estate agent. Read More. They have sold so many houses in this location, so they may know a good house that can suit you. Real estate agents get a commission when they make a sale, so they will not charge you for their services. In fact, they are ready to help you find a house because they get from the sale.

Talk to reputable agents. Tell them what you are looking for. They will find it quickly. How much are you willing to spend on the house? Most people do not have budgets, so they visit several houses. They waste their time and money visiting some of these houses. Once you decide on a budget, visit houses that are within that budget. Do not visit expensive houses because they are better than the ones you can afford.

You will never have peace of mind after seeing expensive houses.

You may be tempted to buy one of them. Stick with what you can afford. Is that location safe?