The peacocks tilted their heads back and bellowed and hollered their desires into the night. They snapped their shimmering tails open and shut like fans. Behind each male’s pointy head, a green-bronze arch unfurled, covered with a halo of gazing suns. The females brayed and shook their less-attractive tails in return.

A Good Hard Look is set in the small town of Milledgeville, Georgia. The writer Flannery O’Connor has been forced by illness to return to Milledgeville. There, the lives of many people collide: Cookie, a beautiful Southern lady just returned from New York with her wealthy fiancee Melvin, Lona Waters, the wife of the sheriff, who is very unhappy, and others. After one disastrous afternoon, everyone will have to deal with the repercussions of their actions, to take a good hard look at the choices they have made.

Flannery O’Connor is obviously a real writer (I’m planning to read some of her work too.) I really loved this novel; everything about it seemed to fit just right. All the characters were well portrayed, especially Flannery and Melvin. I loved the way the peacocks fit into the story too. Flannery O’Connor did own peacocks. I wonder how many of the characters are based on real people in Milledgeville.

The setting was very lush and well described too; Napolitano must have had to do a lot of research. And both of the covers for the hardcover and paperback editions are lovely. This was an enjoyable read, though it did get a bit grim at the end.

Read A Good Hard Look:

  • if are interested in Flannery O’Connor
  • if you like books set in the South

326 pages.

 
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!
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