A Good Hard Look is set in Milledgeville, Georgia in the 1960’s. The story starts the night before the wedding of the town’s most beautiful Southern Bell, Cookie Himmel and her affluent fiancé Melvin Whiteson. Cookie has her whole life planned out and Melvin thinks he is ready to begin life in Cookies debutante world that is until Melvin meets Flannery O’Connor, whose frank and informative descriptions of the people around her, has always offended Cookie. At the time of the wedding, Flannery, who suffered from lupus, is recovering on her family farm, Andalusia. She is in the care of her mother, Regina, and surrounded by her favorite peacocks. That night before the wedding the peacock’s cries start a riot upsetting the town and the wedding guests. The peacocks cries are an important aspect of this tale, their voices are not only disturbing but they also set up the primary emotional current that leads to disaster.
The tragic lives of Ann Napolitano's characters touched me so much and with the tragedy there came comes moments of comedy that had me laughing and crying.