A stranger. A small town. The wife of the town's richest man. There's no stopping what's about to happen in this searing new novel from million copy bestseller, Robert Goolrick. For fans of The Help, Tigers in Red Weather and The Great Gatsby. It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, back from war in Europe, ...
A stranger. A small town. The wife of the town's richest man. There's no stopping what's about to happen in this searing new novel from million copy bestseller, Robert Goolrick. For fans of The Help, Tigers in Red Weather and The Great Gatsby. It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, back from war in Europe, shows up in the sleepy town of Brownsburg, Virginia. All he has with him are two suitcases: one contains a fine set of butcher knives; the other is full of money. Charlie should have turned around and walked back the other way, for what follows - the most passionate and tragic story of a forbidden love affair - will threaten to destroy everything and everyone in its path. Told through the eyes of Sam, a young boy in the town whose world is changed forever by the events of that single year, Heading Out to Wonderful is a suspenseful masterpiece, a haunting, heart-stopping novel of obsession and love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen.
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-07-30 In this latest romantic novel from Goolrick, WWII veteran Charlie Beale takes up residence in a tiny Virginia town in an effort to "head out to wonderful" and discover the unexpected. The unexpected occurs in the form of Sylvan Glass, the adolescent bride of the town's richest and meanest citizen. Charlie's doomed quest to possess Sylvan is the novel's driving force-and this is capably rendered by Norman Dietz, who offers up strong and unique voices for almost all the characters. Sylvan's is the only character that ever comes across as unnatural or inconsistent, but even this wholly keeps with the story: she grew up in a holler, but tries to erase her country accent by emulating the measured dialect of film and radio actresses. In all, this is a first-rate audio production. An Algonquin hardcover. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-02-27 Goolrick's tale of doomed love resonates like a folk ballad, with the language of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its people giving this novel its soul. Just after WWII, 39-year-old veteran Charlie Beale arrives in smalltown Brownsburg, Va., hoping for a brighter future. He offers his services to the local butcher, Will Haislett, and works his way into the good graces of Haislett's family, especially five-year-old Sam. But even as Charlie finds acceptance, he remains apart in Brownsburg: he attends services in every church before finally finding redemption in an African-American Episcopal service; he buys up more land than he needs; and he makes a big mistake by falling for Sylvan Glass, the young wife of wealthy, old, vulgar Harrison Glass, who bought Sylvan at 17 "like a head of cattle." Sylvan, an outsider like Charlie, dreams of Hollywood, while Charlie simply yearns for a place to call home. Goolrick (A Reliable Wife) tells their story from multiple perspectives, most poignantly that of Sam's, a boy trying to make sense of the unfolding tragedy. Like any good ballad, the narrative builds slowly to its violent climax, packs an emotional punch, and then haunts readers with its quintessentially American refrain. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (June 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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