Good to a Fault

Endicott, Marina

  10 Reviews

An innocuous drive to the bank becomes a life-changing event for Clara Purdy when she causes a car accident that involves the Gage family. In the fallout, with the young mother remaining in hospital, Clara's orderly existence is thrown into chaos when she offers to help and the family moves in with her. The resulting domestic tableau of mess and unpredictability provides the setting for the gentle examination of the perennial themes at the heart of our relationships with others while addressing the question: is it possible to be good to a fault? Winner, Best Book, Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009, Canada and Caribbean. [Larger font]

Comments from Groups

All liked the book. A gentle observation of someone "stopping the bus" and changing life. Auckland 163

Excellent language, clever suprise ending. Te Awamutu 1

Excellent discussion on what is morally correct and fostering a child. Hamilton 47

Some good discussion - especially about doing good for wrong reasons. Nelson 28

"Real" characters, very easy-flowing story. Captivates the struggle of human nature common to us all. Read with an open mind and enjoy it! Auckland 134



We loved this book. Deceptively simple and straightforward style, but a compassionate analysis of human nature. A thoughtful study of all the characters - motives, problems and actions, in a sympathetic and non-judgmental manner. We can't judge what's best for other people!
CHCH 385
Book enjoyed by all. But the ending was not definitive enough for some.
WELL 168
The majority of the ladies enjoyed it and found the development of the characters interesting, particularly the influence of good deeds spreading to others.
CHCH 393
Varied responses from the group. Great discussion about social obligation and helping others.
We enjoyed this book. The characters were multi faceted and though some were "good to a fault", we found that refreshing and authentic. Would read more by this author.
RICH 008
Group was split into two over this title. The majority loved it and gave it 7-9/10. They enjoyed the language phrases that the author used. They said it needed to be read in long sessions to keep the flow. A minority said it was too detailed and wordy.
NELS 049
Everyone took a long time to get into the book - it initially seems bogged down in detail. Quite engrossing after the first third. Likeable characters. Lots of discussion created.
NEWP 014
We found this book a bit slow and unnecessarily long. Good discussions though. Thanks!
WELL 036
We loved this book - everyone has recommended it to others. The discussion was lively. Clara, Lorraine, Clayton and all the other characters drew us into their lives. It made us think about helping - what happens when we help others, and what happens when that help is rejected. We came to the conclusion that helping or being helped is a complicated thing, and this book illustrated it really well.
ASHB 016
We all enjoyed this book but it wasn't remarkable or memorable, but more just a good story. It was a very good study into people's personalities but it could've been anyone, adult or child. Most of us agreed that although it was a good story, we would probably struggle to remember it in 6 months.