TCC Reads: How to Be Good by Nick Hornby

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How to Be Good

We all want to be good people, and inevitably, fall short. But what would it be like if we tried to be good all the time? If we actually did as Jesus commanded and sold our possessions and gave them to the poor. This idea is explored in Nick Hornby’s humorous novel, How to Be Good. In the story, Katie Carr is a “good” person married to David, “the angriest man in Holloway.” She raises her children to care about Third World debt and homelessness, but she’s a doctor living an ordinary life, until she has an affair and her husband decides to become a better person and stop being so angry. Matthew Baylis writes, “David is about to become good–not politically correct, organic-food-eating good, but good in the fashion of the Gospels. And that’s no easier in modern-day Holloway than it was in ancient Israel. . .  It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry as we watch David forcing his kids to give away their computers, drawing up schemes for the mass redistribution of wealth, and inviting his wife’s most desolate patients round for a Sunday roast. But that’s because How to Be Good manages to be both brutally truthful and full of hope.”