Ann Leary’s ‘The Good House’

Ann Leary (Scott M. Lacey)

Ann Leary (Scott M. Lacey)

Ann Leary is the wife of actor/comedian Denis Leary, but she’s also a writer — and a mighty good one. Her new novel, “The Good House,” is set in the fictitious North Shore town of Wendover and tells the story of Hildy Good — 60 years old, smart, intuitive and an alcoholic in deep denial about her sickness. She’s also a descendant of one of the Salem witches, and she possesses some of her own witch-like powers of intuition and understanding.

Hildy Good knows pretty much everything about everyone, especially about Rebecca McAllister, a beautiful young mother who is newly arrived in town with a secret of her own. Hildy and Rebecca become close friends and confidants — and the story takes off.

It’s about small-town New England life, secrets and the deep pleasures of drinking — drinking with others, but most especially, drinking alone. For protagonist, Good, that means drinking at home in the evenings, when she can “slip serenely” into herself.

Ann Leary writes from experience. She’s a recovering alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink in six years. However, the initial inspiration for this novel didn’t come from her alcoholism, but from a love of real estate and the idea that one’s house can often say more about a person than therapy.

Leary will be reading from “The Good House” at the Brookline Booksmith on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.



The New York Times “Ms. Leary is on the brink of becoming known for more than being Denis Leary’s wife. ‘I know some people wouldn’t take this novel seriously — I’m a celebrity wife, for God’s sake,’ Ms. Leary says. ‘I wouldn’t want to read the novel of a celebrity wife.'”


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