A Good Hard Look: a Novel
by Ann Napolitano
With author Flannery O’Conner as one of the main characters in A Good Hard Look, Ann Napolitano transports readers to Milledgeville, Georgia, where O’Conner spent the last years of her life at Andalusia, cared for by her mother and surrounded by her beloved peacocks and other birds. Napolitano honors O’Conner’s writing by taking readers into her characters’ inner lives, their tragedies, joys, and most of all their searches for the best way to live. I enjoyed A Good Hard Look so much that I’ve ordered Napolitano’s first book, Within Arm’s Reach (out of print), checked out O’Conner’s letters from the library, and look forward to someday following a bookpath to Andalusia and Milledgeville.
The birds didn’t care that it was the middle of the night, and they didn’t care who they were disturbing. They didn’t care that there was a wedding tomorrow, or that the groom, who had just arrived from New York City, was lying beneath a lace canopy at his in-laws’ house, paralyzed with fear. They didn’t care that his fiancée startled awake in the next room and toppled out of her high bed, and they certainly didn’t care that her face hit a stool on the way down. They didn’t care that the rest of the small Gerogia town was also awake, twitching in their beds like beached fish. – from A Good Hard Look