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Good To a Fault: A Novel [Hardcover]

3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How would you react? Feb. 28 2010
Clara Purdy was living a quiet life in Saskatoon, working in an insurance office and living by herself in the home she grew up in. Then she ran her car into a Dodge Dart owned by a family that was moving to Fort MacMurray. They had been living in the car for a while as they had very little money. The family consisted of father (Clayton), mother (Lorraine), Clayton's mother Mrs.Pell, children Darlene, Trevor and Pearce. No one was badly hurt in the accident but while at the hospital it was noticed that Lorraine had some peculiar bruises, not caused by the crash. After some tests she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma which would require extensive treatment. Clara decided to open her house to the family so they would have a place to stay while Lorraine was receiving treatment. Little did she know what she was getting herself in for. After one night Clayton disappeared in Clara's mother's car. Mrs. Pell can not be trusted to look after the children while Clara goes out to visit Lorraine. It becomes clear to Clara that she has to take a leave of absence from work. Fortunately Clara (who is soon called Clary by the children and everyone else) has some assistance from her next door neighbour, Mrs. Zenko (everyone should have a next door neighbour like her) and her cousins who live just outside of Saskatoon. Clayton manages to get in touch with Lorraine's brother, Darwin, (by using Clara's phone calling card) and he comes to stay in Lorraine's room at night which removes some burden from Clara. And then there is the Anglican priest at Clara's church, Paul Tipett, who has personal problems of his own but manages to provide some support for Clara.

I really loved how all the characters grew throughout the book.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, wonderful read. Dec 15 2008
By Schmadrian TOP 1000 REVIEWER
What I'm most interested in as a reader are two simple things.

1) A story that engages, captivates.
2) A writer with not only 'style', but a distinct voice.

This novel has both. (Although, to be honest, 'Good to a Fault' is less a 'story', than a 'situation'.)

The premise is compelling. The characters are all so nicely drawn. (I HATED Clayton.) The pacing is measured, but not unduly so, with some absolutely memorable moments. And Ms. Endicott has a way with language that put a smile on this writer's face.

Having just read an absolute piece of dreck ('The Memory Keeper's Daughter'), I was relieved to have my faith in the possibilities of good writing restored.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good to a fault, certainly contains faults Jan. 2 2010
I am at a loss as to how this book has achieved the accolades it has. The author engages in some very descriptive, detailed sections and yet glosses over what I considered should have been a major part of the book. To suddenly become the caregiver to three young children and their obnoxious grandparent would be completely overwhelming and exhausting.The way Clara appeared to take it all in stride, with only one notable breakdown, deemed this book implausible for me. To also cope with quitting ones job and the toll that would take on ones self esteem with relative ease further confirmed my opinion that this was not a believable story and the character of Clara a flawed one. Raising three children is exhausting, who would have the time or energy to pursue a romantic relationship, particularly when one has not had relationship of this nature for many years?
The novel is long and involved, I was anxious for it to end.
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