Robert Goolrick is a
master of Americana and his latest novel, Heading Out to Wonderful is
nothing short of perfect - beautifully dark, thrilling and completely
engrossing. Narrated by Sam Haislett as he recalls his youth in small
town, rural Virginia during the mid-1900s, it tells the story of Charlie
Beale, a mysterious and charming stranger. Charlie quickly lands a job
in the local butcher shop and befriends the butcher, his wife and their
son, Sam. The Haislett's make sure that Charlie quickly meets everyone
in the small town, including the glamorous, alluring Sylvan Glass, the
teenage wife of the most powerful man in town. Charlie and Sylvan begin
a sultry affair that leaves its mark on Sam for life and comes to alter
the town forever. It is an unforgettable story that will stay with you
for years to come.
“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.