Lisa Says… Read This Book by Robert Goolrick

By Lisa Hamilton

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick
Heading Out to Wonderful
by Robert Goolrick

I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Goolrick’s first novel, A Reliable Wife, and was equally pleased with his new book, Heading Out to Wonderful. Another love triangle, this one is set in Brownsburg, Virginia, the kind of town where no crime has ever been committed and people believe in God and the Good Book.

Out of nowhere, 39 year old Charlie Beale enters the town with two suitcases, one filled with knives, the other filled with money – a lot of money. It’s 1948, and life is slow and simple. Charlie finds work at the local butcher shop and is taken in and cared for by the owner of the shop and his family. In this family is an almost-six-year-old boy, Sam, who becomes attached to Charlie as they share their passion for baseball and all things family-related. Every Wednesday, Charlie and Sam head out to the slaughterhouse to buy the meat for the shop, stopping along the way to play catch or swim in the river. When the weekly trip begins taking a detour by the wealthiest man in town’s house, to visit his beautiful, young wife, Heading Out to Wonderful takes a dramatic turn. Told through the eyes of young Sam, the tale is relived through the eyes of an older Sam. The events of this summer shape his life forever, and Goolrick does not fail in placing suspense and obsession at the heart of this novel. Rich characters intricately woven into a small town way of life capture you from the start. “When you are 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.” So the story begins…

About this writer

  • Lisa Hamilton A native South Carolinian, Lisa Hamilton is the director of the First Presbyterian Church Preschool and Kindergarten. Of course she loves reading, but also finds time for cooking and walking her dog, Hurley.

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