Hildy Good has lived her whole life in this small town in the North Shore, near Boston. She is a successful realtor but she is feeling the pinch of the hurting economy. Hildy is a divorced woman with two grown daughters who recently staged an intervention for their mother. They think Hildy has a drinking problem, and Hildy disagrees. But to quiet her daughters, she goes to rehab and pretends that she has stopped drinking.
In this novel, we meet the townspeople who Hildy has known all her life. We also meet her new friends, her wealthy clients who ask quite a lot of her. But ultimately this is such fabulous story about one woman who is in complete denial about most things, including herself. Hildy is not your typical fictional heroine and that is what makes this book so refreshing.
This book is a fun read and yet it has many surprises and the bottom line: it has such wonderful writing.
Goolrick’s first novel, THE RELIABLE WIFE, was quite a sensation and a hit with readers. I have eagerly been waiting for his next novel, and HEADING OUT TO WONDERFUL is simply wonderful.
Charlie Beale arrives in a sleepy town in Virginia and he has only two suitcases, one is full of butcher knives and clothes and the other is full of cash. It is 1948 and he is a man of few words and many mysteries. He gets a job as a butcher and becomes friends with the butcher, his teacher wife and their young son. The story slowly builds for us this small town life and the reader wonders about Charlie and what will he reveal about himself. By the end of the book, we don’t have all the answers.
But we meet some fascinating characters, including the young woman who will change Charlie’s life. As you read this novel, you know that things are not going to turn out well. You know that this is not a happy little love story, but you are invested in all the relationships that Charlie has. It is a story about redemption, betrayal and love. And Charlie Beale. Robert Goolrick had me on the first page.
I have often talked about the power of words and what a talented author can do with a story. This is a powerful young adult novel for teens and adults. Do not dismiss this book because it is marketed to teenagers
Leonard wakes up knowing two things: today is his birthday and that he will be dead by the end of the day. He plans to shoot someone and then himself. We go through his day and feel and see his life.
I am not going to say anymore just that this is superbly written and is a constant page turner from beginning to end. Leonard is someone worth getting to know.

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