Heading Out to Wonderful (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that when a mysterious stranger rolls into town in chapter one, carrying only two suitcases filled with cash and a set of very sharp knives, that all is not going to end well in this novel. But Goolrick keeps the reader guessing exactly what form of evil will mark this community, making for an intense but heartfelt read. Add in a curious five year-old narrator, a small town full of busybodies, a racial divide, old time religion, a near-death resuscitation, and a man who’s so rich and so mean, he has to buy himself a pretty young mountain girl for a wife, and you’ve got the makings of a pretty great story.

— From Emily's Picks

June 2012 Indie Next List

“True to what you'd expect from the author of A Reliable Wife, Goolrick's characters are enigmatic, imperfect, and do not behave according to society's dictates. The romance that erupts between Sylvan Glass, an unschooled country girl with dreams of Hollywood, and Charlie Beale, a newcomer to town, will change everyone in town in unexpected ways, most of all young Sam who bears witness to their fiery, ill-fated affair. A great read!”
— Connie Brooks, Battenkill Books, Cambridge, NY


It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village nestled in the Valley of Virginia. All he has with him are two suitcases: one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives; the other is full of money. A lot of money. Heading Out to Wonderful is a haunting, heart-stopping novel of love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781565129238
ISBN-10: 1565129237
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication Date: June 12th, 2012
Pages: 296
Language: English