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Heading Out to Wonderful
by Robert Goolrick

Published: 2013-01-15
Paperback : 320 pages
9 members reading this now
10 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village nestled in the Valley of Virginia. All he has with him are two suitcases: one contains his few possessions, including a fine set ...
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Introduction

It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village nestled in the Valley of Virginia. All he has with him are two suitcases: one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives; the other is full of money. A lot of money. Heading Out to Wonderful is a haunting, heart-stopping novel of love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen.

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Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

About the Author:

In addition to A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick is the author of the acclaimed memoir The End of the World as We Know It. He lives in a small Virginia town.

Review:

Library Journal

Drifter Charlie Beale—toting a cash-stuffed suitcase and a set of premium butcher knives—moves to a small and notably crime-free Southern town. While the bloody writing is on the wall from the beginning, this novel is not a straightforward Southern gothic thriller but primarily a lyrical meditation on the magnified elements of small-town life: friendship, trust, land, lust, and sin. Sylvan, a beautiful hillbilly girl—literally purchased by the town's richest man—has transformed herself into a shimmering imitation of a Hollywood movie star. Her seemingly preordained adultery with Charlie is both condemned and envied by the town. The soul of the story, however, is Charlie's five-year-old companion, Sam, whose parents inexplicably allow him to accompany Charlie everywhere. As a witness sworn to secrecy, Sam is left tragically complicit in the adultery and its consequences. VERDICT Goolrick (A Reliable Wife) creates a timeless town where memory of an affair and crime can haunt forever. A lyrical yet suspenseful novel for general fiction readers.

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Disappointed"by FriendshipSisters (see profile) 02/19/14

This book was such a disappointment to me, I was so looking forward to reading this novel. I loved The Reliable Wife and Heading out to Wonderful was not near as good. It is gloomy and at times extremely... (read more)

 
  "Heading out to wonderful"by fratt (see profile) 10/16/13

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