January book picks: Day 10 of January’s best reads

We’ve tapped Luxury Reading’s book lovin’ blogger, Vera, to give us the scoop all month long on what books are worth the read. She’ll be dishing out daily book picks — and here’s pick ten.

A Good Hard Look is Ann Napolitano’s second novel and is structured around the actual life of A Good Hard Look coverFlannery O’Conner. She was in fact diagnosed with lupus at the age of twenty-five and moved home to Andalusia where she continued to write, and to “collect” a large flock of birds. These birds, and specifically peacocks, are featured heavily in the novel; their shrilling cries coincide with momentous occasions in Milledgeville, both good and heartbreakingly bad.

Although I was not sure where A Good Hard Look would take me when I first opened the book, I absolutely loved the journey. I was consistently drawn in by the string of choices made by incredibly real characters, and how those choices shaped their lives after one tragic afternoon.

Ann Napolitano has a special knack for hinting about events without fully defining them, allowing the reader to draw her own conclusions, to decipher the meaning through the clues that are offered. At heart, A Good Hard Look is very much like life: things are not always crystal clear or perfect in the end, but even an imperfect ending is beautiful in its journey.


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