When a writer introduces a character of such depth and complexity you know you are in for a great read. Charlie Beale drifts into a small Virginia town. Liking what he feels about this place, he remains to become the sun around which the residents of the place revolve. For good and for ill, events unfold driven by passion, affection, respect and the whole range of emotions in between. This is a remarkable novel about the bottomless well of human feelings. — Karen Frank
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.
About the Author
In addition to his most recent novel, The Fall of Princes, Robert Goolrick is the author of three other books: The End of the World as We Know It, a memoir; his first novel, A Reliable Wife, with sales of more than 1 million copies; and his second novel, Heading Out to Wonderful. He lives in Virginia.
“Doesn’t disappoint.”—John Searles, on NBC’s "Today"
“Fans of Goolrick's juicy debut novel A Reliable Wife—which spent 32 weeks on USA Today's Best-Selling Books list—can't wait for this follow-up.”—USAToday.com
“Deliciously dark and dangerous.”—O, The Oprah Magazine
“Within the heartbreak of this story, there is joy and beauty . . . In a year when so many of the books I’ve read have been lovely and memorable, Heading Out to Wonderful is my favorite. I could not possibly recommend it or any other book more highly.”—Literate Housewife
“Goolrick spins out his tale like a mountain ballad . . . Dreamers like Charlie will still try to blunder on to wonderful, and they're the ones whom poets will sing about and old men will remember.” —Wilmington Star-News
“Robert Goolrick vividly evokes two lovers doomed by their place and their past.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“[A] poetic tale that simmers with foreboding atmosphere.”—Printers Row magazine, Chicago Tribune
“[An] unforgettable story of lost and displaced souls in search of identity, acceptance and belonging . . . Goolrick (A Reliable Wife) masterfully ratchets up the tension, while evocative sensory detail and spiritual overtones infuse the emotional landscape of a powerful, climactic novel that seeks to define and explore the meaning of love and goodness.”—Shelf Awareness
“Robert Goolrick is a master of emotive, suspense-driven drama.”—Flavorpill