Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

Robert Goolrick is becoming quite masterful in ferreting out people's dark sides and the consequences of their actions.  He did it with A RELIABLE WIFE and he does it again with HEADING OUT TO WONDERFUL.   In this book, stranger Charlie Beale comes to town looking for a new life and manages to alter the lives of its inhabitants forever.  After surviving the war, Charlie arrives in the Virginia town of Brownsburg with a set of butcher knives and a suitcase full of money hoping to make a fresh start.  He ingratiates himself into the family of the local butcher and immediately proves himself indispensible in the butcher shop.   He especially becomes a hero for 5-yr-old Sam Haislett, the butcher's son.  When Charlie lays eyes on Sylvan Glass, the young bride of the town's richest man, everything changes for him.  His illicit affair with Sylvan will change the lives of everyone in the town forever.
I actually liked this book even better than A RELIABLE WIFE.  Goolrick manages to take a fairly common theme and turn it into something surprising and affecting. I especially love Charlie's relationship with Sam and how the affair has profound consequences for the young boy. The setting is also especially effective. A scandal of this kind in such a small town can't help but affect everyone around the central characters. No one really makes it through unscathed.  The book is quite sad but also very moving. 

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended.  A really well done account of the tragic consequences of an affair in a small town.

1 comment:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Glad to see you liked this Amy. I am looking forward to it as well -- but so many many books to read, I'm not sure when I'll get a chance:)

Hope you've been well.