Happy Halloween! Last night I finished Ann Leary's novel, and suffice it to say I consider it an enjoyable read. I can definitely see why the project drew Meryl's attention. Hildy Good is a delicious character. She's intelligent, successful, shrewd and intuitive while at the same time being bitter, spiteful, finagling and tragically in denial about her rampant alcoholism and how it negatively affects every aspect of her life. I want to be careful not to paint a picture of this story as a stereotypical portrayal of an out of control drunk staggering around on the screen or that it may be Violet Weston redux, as the setting and scenarios surrounding Hildy are enjoyably intricate and different from anything else I've seen Meryl do.
Without giving away too many specifics about the plot, the book takes place near Boston, so I'm guessing we'll hear some variation of a Boston or Eastern New England accent from Meryl. Early on in the story Hildy befriends a younger woman, Rebecca, who is new to town and therefore unaware of Hildy's drinking. Numerous complicated events entangle the two women and other members of the town, including Hildy's love interest Frank, who is to be played by Robert De Niro.
At this point no one has been cast as Rebecca, but while reading the book I couldn't help but imagine how great it would be to see Jessica Chastain in the role. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how a film adaptation will turn out. Hopefully Michael Cunningham provides a great script and a suitable director joins the project. If so I feel this has the potential for being a fantastic film and performance from Meryl.