A Good Hard Look: MAJOR SPOILERS Edition
when i first started down what would be a journey of the book A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano, i wasn't sure what to expect. first things first, off with the paper cover so i would delve in deep to the book, wishing i was at the beach listening to the ocean rather than on my couch listening to the kardashians, i was slowly transfixed and the kardashians went away and all i could hear was the loud lurking and annoying sounds of the general, flannery o' connor's favorite peacock.
page after page, i began to think, wow, these people have issues.
we see early on that flannery is afflicted with a disease that limits her abilities to walk well and drive, she feels trapped in the world that she writes about so she creates for herself the best life possible as she sees it raising peacocks and being sheltered with her mother, regina as her constant companion. the peacocks are more of a nuisance to most, but to flannery they are her life.
melvin and cookie become the forefront of the novel as it opens with their pending nuptials taking place the next day. we meet them the night where they consummate their love on the eve of their marriage, all the while the peacocks are roaring in the background. in their love making, melvin accidentally gives cookie a black eye. which will be a constant reminder on their wedding day that they proceeded their marriage with sex which was not in either of their plans. cookie was the perfect and beautiful bride, although with a black eye, it made some of the invitees wonder about melvin.
melvin whitestone, being from new york, wonders how his life will be as he takes cookie's hand in marriage and they start life together in cookie's hometown of millidgeville. cookie immediately embraces the life of a housewife with tons of money and hires the local seamstress, lona waters, to create curtains for their large house.
oh lona! and here we go...
lona is married to bill waters and they have one child, gigi. miss mary is one of the locals who has a son named joe. miss mary, concerned about joe, that he is quiet and stays in his room alone to much, asks lona if she needs a helper in her job making curtains. reluctant to want help, because she prefers to work alone, seeing that she enjoys her quiet time and her marajuana, and thinks joe will be a thorn in her flesh, she agrees to a few days a week. the deal is made, that they will trade children for the afternoon. gigi will go with miss mary who is often a companion to regina, flannery's mother, and joe will be picked up my lona a few days a week from school to help with the curtain business. after all, she was just hired to make curtains for the entire whitestone house, and he might come in handy. bill, lona's husband thinks this is a great idea.
well, lona and joe. they fall in love. and he is a teenager in high school. lona is married and not in high school. with a daughter joe's age. after she introduces pot to joe, she then introduces him to love making IN the whitestone's house while they are on the job. they fantasize about moving away together in the middle of the night, but lust gets ahead of them and then and there in the white bedroom at the whitestone's house, the consummate what is a bad idea from the start.
and while they are ...uh huh...consummating, might we say...
melvin is spending the day with flannery. melvin, married to cookie, has started teaching flannery to drive and once a week, he stays at the office late sneaks over to flannery's and gives her a driving lesson. cookie does not like flannery and has not since high school and knows that she would never approve, so he doesn't tell her and continues his devotion to flannery and she is becoming more and more independent, thanks to melvin.
but there is a problem. he is falling for the town cripple. falling hard. in love. he not only has a wife, but also a new baby and he relishes the few hours he spends a week with flannery behind the wheel. regina, flannery's mother, only wanting her to be happy, witnesses this with one eye open and one eye closed. and as much as you get the feeling that she really does not approve, you get the feeling that she might just be okay with it as well.
back to lona and joe and the white room in the whitestone's house.
bill, lona's husband, is on a committee with melvin's wife cookie and he needed to borrow a suit from melvin. being cookie's idea, cookie and bill came over to get a suit of melvin's -- only for bill to walk in the whitestone's house and there stands lona naked as a jay bird staring back at him with joe sound asleep naked sprawled across the bed.
let's remember, this is cookie and melvin's house where lona and joe are making curtains. bill, without thinking, or maybe WITH thinking shoots joe and kills him, and suddenly the white room is adorned with only the red of the blood stain seeping out of joe's dead body.
as the shot heard all around milledgeville is fired, melvin is with flannery with his baby daughter, rose, having a picnic, a peacock is spooked and (what you are lead to believe) steps on rose, melvin and cookie's infant child and she is killed.
bill goes to jail.
melvin and cookie get a divorce.
lona and gigi flee to new york in the middle of the night.
melvin moves to new york.
cookie goes crazy and is institutionalized.
regina takes flannery to europe to be cleansed my healing waters.
flannery is not cleansed.
melvin finds lona in new york and pays her what is owed her from the curtains she made for him.
melvin visits cookie in the mental hospital.
gigi saves her money and rescues all of flannery's peacocks.
melvin and cookie try their hand at marriage one more time.
shew, this book was a work out, and leaves me wanting more...
did lona stay in new york?
what the heck did gigi do with all those peacocks?
are cookie and melvin still married?
did they have more kids?
did miss mary and regina become roommates?
did someone find flannery's latest writings and publish them?
dear ann napolitano,
i think we need a good hard look takes two.