Review first published on RebeccasReads
Good to Her
Strategic Book Publishing (2013)
Reviewed by Kam Aures for RebeccasReads (06/13)
In the opening pages of Enid Harlow’s “Good to Her”, we are transported to 1964 New York, specifically to Dinty Moore’s restaurant.
“It was just past eight-thirty in the evening. Nate’s confirmed time for dinner at Dinty Moore’s. The room was nearly empty with only a few patrons sitting about, lingering over coffee and dessert. Those on the way to the theater had already rushed off to make their curtains. Those who would drop in for a late supper or after-theatre drink were still hours away. In the lull, the place was his. Celebrated bright lights above, scrupulously scrubbed white tiles below, meticulously polished tiles everywhere.” (p.1)
Because Sallie loved watching the post-theatre crowds coming in all dressed up, she chose to join Nate on many Saturdays. Dinty Moore’s was a very popular late-night hangout for many, including celebrities. Sallie is much younger than Nate, 26 years younger in fact. This alone, made their relationship very intriguing to me right off the bat.
Although the book is a work of fiction, there are many elements of historical fact in it. One section that I particularly enjoyed was the back story on Dinty Moore’s. I had not known of Dinty Moore’s restaurant before now, so when I saw the name I thought that this must be where the Dinty Moore canned stew comes from. Those thoughts were soon squashed as it was detailed thoroughly that this was in fact, NOT where the stew comes from. Because the name trademark was not registered in the proper manner, the makers of Dinty Moore stew were allowed to keep that name though. I found this, and other tidbits of history, to be very informative. It really added to the appeal, and to my enjoyment of the book.
Both main characters are very well-developed throughout the novel and this, along with the historical aspect of the book, made for a wonderful read. I would recommend Enid Harlow’s “Good to Her” to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Though not a fast moving book, it is one that I believe you will enjoy taking the time to read.