A Good Hard Look: A Journey into the Past
I have to admit that I began A Good Hard Look having no idea who Flannery O'Connor was. But Ann Napolitano does a remarkable job of bringing this real life woman to the forefront of her novel. The author cleverly creates a small town world full of complex characters. You're immediately drawn to dive deep and learn about their lives.
The author weaves a gentle tale of the lives of the locals and has an amazing understanding of their struggles and triumphs. There’s the socialite wife and her new husband, a transplant from the city. There is the writer, Flannery, with a debilitating illness who lives on a farm full of peacocks with her mother and knows that her days are numbered. And there is the local seamstress who is dissatisfied with the way her life has progressed and is trying to break free of the dullness. Their lives are intertwined as they go about their days in the small town of Milledgeville.
When I started A Good Hard Look I wasn’t quite sure where it was going to take me but it meandered through the days of the inhabitants of Milledgeville in a nearly poetic way as it delivered me to the final pages. And it sent me on a journey to find out more about the real person that was woven into this novel. For that I’m grateful.