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Goodnight Nobody: A Novel Hardcover – September 20, 2005
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Goodnight Nobody is bestselling author Jennifer Weiner's attempt at writing a mystery, with a healthy dose of the author's chick lit sensibilities thrown in for good measure. While this Desperate Housewives meets Sex in the City murder mystery won't make readers shake in their Manolo Blahniks, it will provide the obligatory humor and compassion to which fans of Weiner's Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and Little Earthquakes have grown accustomed.
Kate Klein is a feisty, charmingly insecure Connecticut housewife who trades in a life of late-night karaoke sing-a-longs and West Village brunches with her best friend Janie for a world of mini-vans and Mommy and Me pilates classes. Life in Upchurch, Connecticut, heats up when Kate discovers picture-perfect wife and mother Kitty Cavanaugh dead on the pickled maple hardwood floor of her recently remodeled kitchen. A former chronicler of celebrity gossip, Kate takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of Kitty's murder and the disappearance of Lexi Hagen-Holdt, another Upchurch supermom. Along the way, the mysteries and disappointments in Kate's personal life begin to unravel, including her marriage to the kind-yet-uptight Ben, and her unresolved crush on Evan McKenna, a former neighbor with whom a one-night tryst ended in disaster. Thrown in for comic relief, and perhaps to show the depth of Weiner's talents as a writer, are Kate's twin boys and adorably sophisticated 5-year old daughter Sophie ("Sophie was sitting on the toilet, applying lipstick and waiting her turn...").
Goodnight Nobody is chock full of plot twists and turns which can be overwhelming and superfluous. However, Weiner's charm and grace are usually enough to rescue readers from these moments of confusion, and reaffirm our commitment to this endearing contemporary voice. --Gisele Toueg
From Publishers Weekly
Chick Lit star Weiner's fourth novel, following In Her Shoes (2002), which has been adapted as a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, follows bored, upper-middle class, suburbanite mother of three Kate Klein as she becomes entangled in a local murder case. When Kate discovers the stabbed body of neighbor Kitty Cavanaugh, her pursuit of the killer gives Kate's mundane life a new sense of purpose, but her zeal puts pressure on her already wobbly marriage to Ben. She charges on, however, aided by best friend Janie, the chic, fearless daughter of a multi-millionaire. Kate soon uncovers Kitty's second life, centered on Kitty's search for her real father, entailing an investigation of several powerful men. Things are further complicated by the reappearance of Evan McKenna, Kate's unrequited love interest of the past seven years, who is a charming part-time private investigator, the exact opposite of Ben. Linked to the case through work he'd done for Kitty, Evan joins Kate on the mystery, and his seductive presence leaves her torn. While Weiner's characters are passionate, affecting and poignant, the murder mystery is less compelling. Too many false conclusions leave the reader tired by the time the real killer is revealed. The ending is also hard to believe. But Weiner's readers will root for Kate, whose humor and warmth amidst her struggles to transcend the roles of mom and wife make her a loveable, fully realized character.
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What sets Jennifer Weiner's books apart from the average suburban mom detective genre is her portrayal of Kate's inner life as well as her realistic depiction of the drudgery and frustration stay at home moms can face when their children are very small and utterly dependent. Sometimes it's hilarious and sometimes it's heartbreaking, but it always makes good reading.
The mystery is very good and Kate follows her leads in a realistic and entertaining way. The suspense builds well to the ending, and the crime, as well as its perpetrator, is presented in a novel and surprising way.
All in all, very well done.
Page-turning fun, women everywhere, especially mothers, will love this tale. Most will see themselves somewhere in the cast of characters. If nothing else, readers will laugh out loud..to the very last page.
Update*** Did you all know that Jennifer Weiner is one of the writers and producers of ABC Family's new show, 'Stae of Georgia', with Raven Symone? It is a cute show, and once I found out that Jennifer Weiner had a hand in it, I was an instant fan. I hope it comes back for a second season.
Additionally, I am still waiting for a sequel of Goodnight Nobody......