Thursday, July 2, 2009

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner

From the website ReadingGroupGuides:Life in suburban Upchurch is anything but picturesque for Kate Klein. Along with three small children and a husband who is hardly at home, Kate has to contend with living up to the standards set by her fellow Upchurch mothers. They're designer-clad, perfectly coiffed---at the playground---and feed their kids organic food. They make motherhood look effortless while Kate, with uncombed hair and a stash of bribe lollipops, "hasn't done one single thing right" since moving from Manhattan to this small Connecticut town.

When Kate arrives for lunch at the home of Kitty Cavanaugh and finds the Upchurch mom murdered, she's jolted from her malaise and sets out to uncover the killer. As her investigation heats up, Kate finds out not only that Kitty had a few dark secrets but that they had a mutual acquaintance---a man from Kate's past who will lead her to reexamine the life she's chosen.

This was such a fun book to read! There was something particularly humorous for me that I read this book about all these prissy perfectly coiffed woman as I sat, a sweaty dirty mess, in a canvas folding chair outside of my tent with Youngest at Cub Scout summer resident camp. I knew I was going to like the book right away. In one of the first scenes, the author described the neighborhood women and I could picture each one. This is not something I can usually do...I'm one of those people who reads too quickly and doesn't visualize description well, I do much better reading dialog. So for the women to come to life so easily was a treat. And, unfortunately, I know these women. Southern women are notorious for their care with appearance. I used to be. I can remember when ex-Marine and I were dating and he'd say, "Let's run to the store." and I'd need thirty minutes to do make-up and hair just to go to Walgreens. Maine changed all that for me. I went up there the girl who didn't own a pair of blue jeans - I always wore skirts. I left out of there three years later with no make-up and a pair of flannel lined jeans as my uniform. But I digress..back to the book.

The book goes back and forth between young Kate starting out in life in New York with her BFF Janie and older Kate, married with kids, stumbling across a murder in her snotty suburb. My favorite young Kate quote was when she compared herself to a model and said even if the model "could lose all her limbs in an industrial accident? Even if she was just a torso, she'd still be better looking than me." For old Kate, I liked when she served Janie a Pedialyte and vodka cocktail because she had no orange juice and when she was given instructions by the neighborhood queen bee about baking for the school bake sale - no nuts, no dairy - and Kate thinks, "How about crack? Would crack be okay?" Needless to say, I liked both young Kate and older Kate. She reminds me of Wendi Aarons of Lessons Learned Last Week - especially this post.

The mystery part of the story was something new for Weiner - I gather from reviews and such that she usually just sticks to romantic chick lit. She did a good job with the mystery. I didn't figure it out before the end and I stayed interested in figuring it out until the end. I'll have to check out Weiner's other books because I enjoyed this one a lot.

This book is my "G" for the A-Z Reading Challenge! Click on the logo to see my progress.

1 comment:

Kalynne Pudner said...

I discovered this book in my 17 yo's room when I was cleaning it last week. Since the only Weiner title I remembered was "Good in Bed," I was leery, and set it aside somewhere to discreetly check it out. Now, after reading your review, I think I'll check it out ASAP -- as in, read it myself. If only I can remember where, exactly, I set it aside.

If you haven't read James Patterson's Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas (I suppose I could go back to your blog and see, but then I'd lose my comment, sure as I'm sitting here wincing in pain), you must!