2013 Reading: Heading out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick

heading out to wonderfulI was at a library fundraiser Friday night when Robert Goolrick spoke and read Chapter 2 of Heading Out to Wonderful–I had read most of Chapter 1 while waiting for the event to begin–so I continued reading this weekend.

The book is set in a fictionalized version of the town of Brownsburg, Virginia, which in real life is just 20 miles away down some beautiful backroads. So people in this area are interested in it. The truth, though, is that the story is based on an incident that took place in Greece, not in Brownsburg, so the book could have been set anywhere.

In any event, it’s a fast read. A bit melodramatic, but entertaining. Charlie Beale is a wizard with butcher knives, and he comes to town to find work, which he does. Everybody likes Charlie, who is smart and friendly. One day he sees Sylvan Glass, the pretty young wife of the despised Boaty Glass, and . . .

It’s also got an interesting narrative structure. It begins in the first person, but the identity of the narrator isn’t revealed until the very end. (I’m glad, having read most of that opening, I didn’t ask the question I wanted to at Goolrick’s reading.) I’ve got Goolrick’s previous novel, so I need to read that.

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