Robert Goolrick’s new book Heading Out to Wonderful was the cover story in yesterday’s USA Today (https://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/story/2012-06-11/robert-goolrick-heading-out-to-wonderful/55507370/1).
In the June issue of Birmingham magazine, on shelves now, I included Heading Out to Wonderful in my list of hot summer reads. I wrote this about it:
This new novel from the author of the bestselling A Reliable Wife is a story of love gone wrong. Charlie Beale, an attractive loner recently home from war in Europe, shows up in a sleepy Virginia town. He finds a job at a local butcher shop and, in that way, meets all the townspeople including Sylvan, the beautiful, eccentric teenage bride of the richest man in town. The story of the ensuing relationship between Charlie and Sylvan and how it alters the town is told by the butcher shop owner’s son, Sam, looking back decades later.
The story is a haunting tale of obsession and love gone terribly wrong. And it is beautifully told with scenes readers will not soon forget. Consider this passage, which inspired the title:
"Let me tell you something, son. When you’re young, and you head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand-new penny, but before you get to wonderful you’re going to have to pass through all right. And when you get to all right, stop and take a good, long look, because that may be as far as you’re ever going to go.”
Heading Out to Wonderful has received some great blurbs from O Magazine, Redbook, Family Circle, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post, and more. Kathryn Stockett (The Help) called it “a delicious feast for the reader” and Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain) praised it as “a rich, evocative, and sometimes unsettling story.” By the way, those two books (in travel-ready paperback) should also be on your summer reading list if you haven't read them already.
The book hit store shelves yesterday (June 12).