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Download The Good House: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Good House: A Novel, by Ann Leary Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,399 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ann Leary Narrator: Mary Beth Hurt Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Both Hildy's denial and her vulnerability are dramatized extremely well by narrator Mary Beth Hurt. Hurt deftly portrays Hildy's tendency to hide her alcoholism under a veneer of polished perfection; she's a woman who can deal with anyone's problems but her own. As the novel continues, the listener feels the pain of Hildy's breakdown and relapse in Hurt's Delivery, so well does she depict Leary's beautifully plotted story. AudioFile Magazine, Earphones Award winner

  • Mary Beth Hurt's reading brought out the humor in Leary's prose…Hurt's reading was a very engaging way to absorb this novel. National Association of Realtors
  • The Good House is told in first person, which makes it an ideal audiobook – especially in the hands of reader Mary Beth Hurt, who simultaneously portrays Hildy as smart, funny, prickly, sympathetic and – well, pathetic. The Star-Ledger
  • Hildy is brought to life – on and off the wagon – by Mary Beth Hurt's fabulous performance. Bookpage
  • I was constantly entertained by the story and Hurt's total inhabitation of Hildy, who is both star and narrator of her own tale Winston-Salem Journal
  • Mary Beth Hurt does a fantastic job bringing Hildy to life vocally in all her facets…The author is talented and the reader adept; they have created a comprehensively compelling audio experience. New World Review

  • “Fresh, sharp, and masterfully told. Hildy’s tale is as intoxicating as it is sobering.”


  • “Superstition, drama, and intrigue unspool at a perfect pace in Ann Leary’s irresistible new novel, The Good House, a tale steeped in New England character and small-town social tumult.”


  • “A layered and complex portrait of a woman struggling with addiction, in a town where no secret stays secret for long.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Leary gleefully peels back the pretensions that so often accompany portraits of ye olde Americana, peering through the shingles to reveal a lobster pot’s worth of ensnared ties between townies and the newly entitled....The Good House is a good read.”

    USA Today

  • “One of the best works of Massachusetts fiction in recent memory.”

    Boston magazine

  • “Hildy is an original, irresistibly likable and thoroughly untrustworthy...A genuinely funny novel about alcoholism.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2013 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2014 Audie Award Finalist for Fiction
  • Among shortlisted titles for Audie Award Finalist, 2014

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Wendy E. | 2/14/2014

    " The characters in this book are very human, very fallible and very readable. I was immediately drawn to Hildy and her small town, her problems and her successes. Great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by shirley | 2/13/2014

    " Alcoholic real estate agent in denial about her drinking problem deals with her daughters and eccentric neighbors in a small New England town. It's funny, serious and thought provoking with a little mystery thrown in. I really liked seeing the story from the perspective of someone the morning after. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Barbara Sissel | 2/12/2014

    " The gift of a good story, for me anyway, is when I can't wait to see what happens and am then sorry to reach the final page. It was the case with this novel. I don't know when I've met a character so vividly alive and breathing off the page as Hildy Good. She's a New Englander, wry and edgy, and she drinks. Her daughters are convinced she's an alcoholic. She's just as convinced she isn't, and yet she gets herself into situations and her remorse, her despair over herself is so poignant. You feel her pain; you want to shake her. You'll never be sure you can trust her, but you can't help but love her. I did. This is the first of Ann Leary's novels I've read, but not the last. If you love vividly drawn and compelling characters, if page turning plots are your thing, don't miss this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Therese Hess granville | 2/5/2014

    " Interesting novel about a woman's battle with alcoholism. Even though the main character's story is sad and realistic, she can be very funny and the story has a happy outcome. Recommended, especially for people interested in alcoholism. "

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