I love when a book surprises me; when my expectations aren’t very high and then the story begins to unfold and I can’t wait to turn the page to find out what happens next. That’s exactly how I felt when reading Robert Goolrick’s Heading Out to Wonderful.
Several years ago I read Goolrick’s A Reliable Wife and walked away slightly disappointed. The book had received so much praise that my expectation level didn’t quite meet my experience, and I was left disappointed. For that reason, I picked up Goolrick’s second novel with some mixed feelings. More than anything, I wasn’t expecting much but felt the need to read it because the synopsis was intriguing.
What a wonderful surprise! Set in a small town shortly after the end of WWII, Heading Out to Wonderful tells the story of a young man so hopelessly in love with another man’s wife that there’s nothing he wouldn’t do or give her to express his love. Very quickly, his love begins to consume him to the point that the only thing that exists is his love for this woman.
Gossip spreads quickly in small towns and soon there is none who is unaware of the affair between the young butcher and the young wannabe starlet wife of the town’s richest (and meanest) resident. And then came the ultimate betrayal by the only person in town that could hurt the young butcher….a betrayal so heinous and vile that it tips the entire town on its head and causes the townspeople to turn away from the man they all once trusted and called friend.
Heading Out to Wonderful was an exciting story with an ending that truly took me by surprise, and one that would make a great read as you while away the hours indoors this winter season.
This book is available at the Rochester Public Library and Bookmobile.