Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Evening With Ann Leary: The Good House





One of the true pleasures in my life is to always be in the midst of a book I look forward to disappearing into every night. I carry it with me, everywhere. I read while I wait at school pick up, I read while at Doctor appointments, I read before I go to sleep. Reading until my eyes begin to roll in their sockets and the book drops off my lap onto the floor is a ritual I haven't gone without, ever, even when I had newborns. Maybe especially when I had newborns.

Writers that make you feel like you've sneaked into a life that could so easily be one that's real, that's the mark of a smart, compelling author. Ann Leary does just that with her latest, The Good House. I have to tame myself from not devouring a satisfying read like The Good House in one sitting, so that I can try to make it last at least a week. Controlling myself, not turning the page to begin a new chapter; that was something I failed at with The Good House.

I was only able to make The Good House last four days.

Ann Leary's book was released January 15. I began reading it as soon as it arrived at my door inside its manila envelope. With the first sentence, I had the Can't Put This One Down feeling. The Good House strips away unnecessary scene building and dialogue, stuff you could do without, and what we get instead is knowing that every word placed on those pages, has to be there. There are the moments of humor you don't see coming that make the read even more delicious. There are the moments of deep dark sharing, where you feel like you're a ghost peering over someone's shoulder as they write secret journal entries in the night.

Hildy, the main character of The Good House, is so endearingly honest that she became living and breathing to me. Flawed and vulnerable, she has to make herself tough. Tough. Because that's all she's got. I love that.

Ann Leary writes with a pen that both pierces my heart with love for Hildy, as well as makes me want to hold her hand and promise her it will all be all right.

I am in love with this book, and tonight, I get to meet Ann Leary at a book signing. She'll be appearing at Lynden Sculpture Gardens at 7 PM tonight. I can hardly wait to thank her for her words.  

And here's more exciting news: I HAVE A SIGNED COPY OF ANN'S BOOK THE GOOD HOUSE to give away here. You want this book. I haven't met a person who's read The Good House who hasn't fallen in love with it.

Comment, tweet, to win. "Entering to win @annleary 's #TheGoodHouse because I love good books! via @gdrpempress"

Gotta run, six inches of uberarctic blast predicted for tonight and I promised Ann a hunter's cap. She'll look adorable in it.

Comment, tweet, fingers crossed for you.

***


23 comments:

  1. Thanks for the stellar review. I've been having a case of book impotency. It's difficult to find one I even want to read and the last three that I started are still on my bedside table, unfinished.

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    1. This book is all about something I secretly do: wonder what's inside people's homes, and what that says about the state of their lives. Chilling.

      It's excellent.

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  2. I tweeted! How can I not want to read a book that sounds so darn good??

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    1. It is so good, Jen. From the very first sentence, it's a big fat juicy slice of escape!

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  3. woot...put me in...i will read anything...and this one sounds good...

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  4. I love the Can't Put This One Down feeling!It's the same feeling as hitting it off with a stranger and knowing you're going to become friends.

    Congratulations for getting to meet an author you admire! Or, maybe you know her - promising to give someone a hunting cap at a book signing seems like something you don't do if they're a total stranger to you - but regardless, you should tell her what you told us" "...writes with a pen that pierces my heart..." is such an amazing compliment, such stuff as an artist dreams of. Whether you know her or not, that's sure to make her day.

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    1. What a nice thing to say, Kana. Thank you.

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  5. Eeeeee! Awesome. I love a good "can't-put-this-one-down" kind of book. And it's been awhile (though I did recently finish "Gone Girl" which evoked the same feeling from me). This sounds really intriguing, and I'd love to add another book to my shelf (currently I'm reading a book on meditation, and while it's interesting... meh).

    FINGERS CROSSED FOR ME! And have a great time meeting the author. What an honor! XOXO

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  6. Have a great time and be careful of the weather!

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    1. The roads were awful!! All blowing snow right in my windshield AND ice under the snow. Luckily, site was only 20 mins from my home.

      xo

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  7. You are just like me. When I find a treasured gem of a book, I want to savor it. I make myself slow down just so I can enjoy it. Don't worry about me. After your glowing review, I ordered it from Amazon. Enjoy yourself tonight. There's nothing more exciting than meeting the author of a beloved book. Well...maybe meeting Bono, but besides that.

    I hope you're doing well, my darling friend. I didn't want to overload you with emails, but I just wanted you to know, again, that I've got you in my prayers, you're in my thoughts and just...that I love you, lady.

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    1. Joann, you would SO not be able to put this down.

      Seriously. Lesson in how to draw the reader in like BOOM.

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  8. I will definitely check this one out, Alexndra...

    In the meantime, I'm sending you a big hug!

    XOXO

    A.

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    1. Anna, I met Ann Leary tonight and she reminded me so much of you in every way you can imagine. Face, the funny, the down to earth: tall, thin. Smart.

      So much like you: just very unassuming.

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  9. Thank you Alexandra! Can't wait to read it. And I'm sending you a big hug too.

    XXX
    A

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  10. I haven't read a "can't put it down" book in some time. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  11. I want it!


    Candace

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  12. I met her, she was CHARMING. No attitude, no looking down her nose. Just so friendly and warm and appreciative of realizing her life's dreams and all the good that she's been blessed with.

    I am smitten.

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  13. Alexandra, you've hooked me on this book. If I don't win it, I'll need to get a copy.

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  14. I would love to read this - it looks so good!

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  15. I just finished Rita Arens' book, so I need a new one! I also just tweeted. I bet meeting her was amazing.

    Happy Friday, love!

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