Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D
A Good Hard Look
The Penguin Press HC
In A Good Hard Look
(Penguin), Ann Napolitano creates a fictional version of the life of the acclaimed Southern writer that is as vibrantly colorful as the peacocks raised on the O'Connor family farm in Milledgeville, Georgia. Flannery, now returned from New York City, reluctantly attends the wedding of town beauty Cookie Himmel and her rich fiance, Melvin Whiteson. While Flannery's peacocks temporarily disrupt Cookie's wedding day, the real trouble begins when Melvin finds himself giving Flannery secret driving lessons. Napolitano makes no attempt to mimic O'Connor's singular style, but she does succeed in creating a wholly believable world shaped by duty, small pleasures, and fateful choices.
— Bethanne Patrick