Flannery O’Connor was not kind to the characters she created for her stories; they were deeply flawed, and in need of redemption. Ann Napolitano does not spare Flannery of those characteristics in her own novel, A Good Hard Look.
It takes a certain level of confidence to fictionalize the last months of a famous American novelist’s life. Napolitano handles the challenge with grace; O’Connor could be walking around in one of her own stories. But does she get the one thing she really needs, that all her characters needed? Does she get a little grace, and forgiveness?