As part of our Best Books of 2012 coverage, our editors weigh in on some of their personal favorites from the list.

In his runaway bestseller A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick showcased his irresistible ability to combine artful sentences with drawn out, delicious drama. With his second novel—which is lovingly rooted in small-town Virginia of the late 1940s—Goolrick unspools an even more heartbreaking story. Heading Out to Wonderful feels like less of a soap opera than Goolrick's debut, but it's much more emotional. Read it, weep and express your gratitude to the people you love.

Read our interview with Goolrick about this novel.

View our complete Best Books of 2012 list, and find more Best Books of 2012 coverage on the blog.

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