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Going to Beautiful

av Anthony Bidulka

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298828,743 (4.63)Ingen/inga
"International chef Jake Hardy has it all. Celebrity, thriving career, plenty of friends, a happy family and faithful dog. Until one day when a tragic accident tears it all apart. Struggling to recover, Hardy finds himself in a strange new world--a snow-swept prairie town that time forgot--a place where nothing makes sense. Cold is beautiful. Simple is complex. And doubts begin to surface about whether Jake's tragedy was truly an accident after all. As the sun sets in the Land of Living Skies, Hardy and his glamorous, seventy-eight-year-old transgender neighbour find themselves ensnared in multiple murders separated by decades. In Bidulka's "love letter to life on the prairies" he delivers a story of grief and loss that manages to burst with joy, tenderness and hope. Redolent of his earlier works, Going to Beautiful brings us unexpected, under-represented characters in settings that immediately feel familiar and beloved. Beautiful--a place where what you need may not be what you were looking for." --… (mer)
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Visa 1-5 av 8 (nästa | visa alla)
Going to Beautiful by Anthony Bildulka begins with a mystery: how did famed fashion designer Eddie Kravets die? Seeking closure, his distraught husband, Jake Hardy, travels to Beautiful, Saskatchewan, a place Eddie referred to in an end-of-life directive. Jake finds himself a fish out of water, lost in a dying prairie town without a clue why he's there. But slowly Beautiful reveals itself to him, creating opportunities for resolution, recovery, and healing.

I really enjoyed this novel. It's twisty, but gently so, and the characters are endearing. The novel is also LGBTQ+ positive. If you're looking for a book that wants to charm you, Going to Beautiful is a strong contender.
  laVermeer | Jun 11, 2023 |
Going to Beautiful is a story of loss, mourning, and awakening to a new and completely unimagined life. Jake and his partner Eddie are living the life. Both have ridden the reality-television road to fame and fortune. Eddie in a design competition show, Jake with books and shows featuring stylish and exciting cooking from around the world. But then Eddie dies, a death that could be a murder, suicide, or an accident. The same forces that lifted them up now magnify his grief as he is suspected by some. He’s lost his joy in cooking and is in despair. However, he has tasks to complete, spreading Eddie’s ashes at the places they visited. The last world on the list is beautiful, something Jake thought was descriptive, but his son pointed out it might be a noun, not an adjective. And so it was.

He and his neighbor and friend, Baz, an elegant transwoman who may be seventy-eight on paper but remains young at heart and spirit head out to Beautiful, Saskatchewan. Jake hopes to find answers there and he does, but far more answers than he was looking for.

Going to Beautiful is a new take on an old trope, the displaced urban sophisticates marooned among the salt-of-the-earth farmers. But Jake is no Paris Hilton and Baz is no Eva Gabor. From a broken down car to a missing brother-in-law, events conspire to keep Jake and Baz in Beautiful where they are soon drawn into the fabric of life. Beautiful could be one of those twee villages where everybody is an eccentric, but they face real problems and are united by the anxiety of the last residents of a dying town.

This is not a cute novel, though the description might make it seem so. The problems and mysteries of Beautiful are real. Jake comes to understand Eddie in a deeper way when he sees where he came from and meets his family. There is plenty of joy and kindness in Beautiful, but there is a grim side to surviving on the cold, northern prairie. That is what makes this such a beautiful novel.

I received an ARC of Going to Beautiful from the publisher through LibraryThing.

Going to Beautiful at Stonehouse Publishing
Anthony Bidulka author site

https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2022/09/23/going-to-beautiful-by-ant... ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Sep 23, 2022 |
Jake Hardy and his husband Eddie Kravets seemingly have it all. The perfect life...successful careers, Jake, a celebrity chef and Eddie, a well-known fashion designer, a strong marriage, and of course, a faithful dog. Their son, Connor is grown, successful, and attentive. Jake and Eddie live in a trendy part of Toronto with a beloved next neighbor, Baz, who is basically family.

Then, the unthinkable happens. Eddie is dead. Standing on the balcony one minute, plunged to his death the next. Was he pushed, did he slip, or was it intentional?

In his grief, Jake intends to fulfill Eddie wishes laid out in the document I'm Dead, Now What? that both partners filled out to be a guide for after death. Eddie named three places for his ashes to be spread. Two are familiar, one is a mystery. Beautiful. With that, Jake and Connor set out to solve the puzzle.

Beautiful just happens to be the town in Saskatchewan of Eddies' birth. Although, Eddie never really spoke about his upbringing, Jake and Baz intend to complete the task. They are Going to Beautiful. What they soon discover is that secrets are plenty, townsfolk are welcoming, and the land is truly beautiful.

Going to Beautiful is a heartwarming story full of both joy and sorrow, tragedy and beauty, and grief mixed with unconditional love. The characters are real...the reader will want to meet them, get to know them, and share in the loss while pressing on. A truly inspirational story that will have you laughing out loud one minute and fighting back tears the next. So happy I found this author!

I give it 4 1/2 stars.

Thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers, Stonehouse Publishing, and Anthony Bidulka for the ARC. ( )
1 rösta jackiewark | Jul 31, 2022 |
It's been a long time since I've loved a book I've won with Early Reviewers so much! I loved learning about this part of the world, and the beautiful landscape was almost a character. Speaking of characters, I loved every single one of them. This is part mystery, part love story, part ode to grief. Just absolutely fantastic. I had never heard of this author and now I'm going to have to go seek out ALL of his books. ( )
1 rösta psychomamma | Jul 30, 2022 |
Going to Beautiful by Anthony Bidulka is the queer semi-gothic mystery/prairie adventure we deserve (whether we knew we wanted it or not).

The characters of Going to Beautiful are effortlessly queer in the best way possible: it is not the sum of their identities, but just a natural part of who they are - and rarely the emphasis. All of the characters, queer and straight - and yes, there are straight characters! - are colorful and memorable, well rounded and full of personality. The amazing and diverse cast of characters is easily the strongest part of the Bidulka's novel.

Beyond the characters, both main and side, is the plot. Bidulka does a fantastic job of leading the reader along, hinting at mysteries as yet unrevealed and unsolved, dropping clues to keep you engaged until the mystery is divulged - only for another mystery to pop up and take its place. This keeps the plot moving forward, avoiding any sense of stagnation or going in circles despite the entire book occurring in just two settings.

The setting is also wonderfully described and Bidulka makes good use of the main location: the Canadian prairie town of Beautiful. Often the town itself feels like a character, which is one mark of good writing (or so I have heard). Even when Beautiful is just background scenery, Bidulka ensures that the scenery is beautifully described.

A strong and heady mix of humor, suspense, and queer catharsis, Going to Beautiful by Anthony Bidulka is a fantastic novel full of life and color. An easy 5 out of 5 in my book, and highly recommended. ( )
1 rösta gadosiahe | Jul 26, 2022 |
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"International chef Jake Hardy has it all. Celebrity, thriving career, plenty of friends, a happy family and faithful dog. Until one day when a tragic accident tears it all apart. Struggling to recover, Hardy finds himself in a strange new world--a snow-swept prairie town that time forgot--a place where nothing makes sense. Cold is beautiful. Simple is complex. And doubts begin to surface about whether Jake's tragedy was truly an accident after all. As the sun sets in the Land of Living Skies, Hardy and his glamorous, seventy-eight-year-old transgender neighbour find themselves ensnared in multiple murders separated by decades. In Bidulka's "love letter to life on the prairies" he delivers a story of grief and loss that manages to burst with joy, tenderness and hope. Redolent of his earlier works, Going to Beautiful brings us unexpected, under-represented characters in settings that immediately feel familiar and beloved. Beautiful--a place where what you need may not be what you were looking for." --

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