"Goodnight Nobody" is a very good novel that is several cuts above the average mystery which is forgotten as soon as you finish it. An unusual mix of the literary with satire and mystery, it is hard to peg but easy to recommend.
Kate is a fish out of water in her new Connecticut suburb, where everyone else is a Supermom and is careful to feed their kids only organic foods.
She tries to befriend Kitty, but unfortunately she turns up dead when Kate and her kids show up for a play date. Oops, sorry to bother you, Kitty. Oops, the discovery turns on her latent reporter instincts and she is off nosing around for leads and interviews.
There is much humor and hilarity in the novel, aside from the satire. Her own feelings of inadequacy, fed by her children's excellent timing in upchucking, her inventive lies which backfire on her, her best friend Janie who calls her back to herself as a reporter -- I only wish she had referred to her new hometown as Upchuck more often.
Underneath are themes of self-erasure and identity. Women marry and move to "Upchuck" and we hardly have any idea what they did or what they were before they moved. None of the housewives have a paying position outside the home, and they are rather shocked when it is discovered that Kitty was helping write or research a famous columnist's material. On top of that, Kate's own husband seems to be less than supportive of her efforts to uncover the truth behind Kitty's murder. At the end, Kate and hubby Ben are separated while they sort out their marriage.
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner's newest novel tells the story of a young mother's move to a postcard-perfect Connecticut town and the secrets she uncovers there. For Kate Klein, a semi-accidental mother of three, suburbia's been full of unpleasant surprises. Her once-loving husband is hardly ever home. The supermommies on the playground routinely snub her. Her days are spent carpooling and enduring endless games of Candy Land, and at night, most of her orgasms are of the do-it-yourself variety. When a fellow mother is murdered, Kate finds that the unsolved mystery is one of the most interesting things to happen in Upchurch since her neighbors broke ground for a guesthouse and cracked their septic tank. Even though Kate's husband and the police chief warn her that crime-fighting's a job best left to professionals, she can't let it go. So Kate launches an unofficial investigation -- from 8:45 to 11:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when her kids are in nursery school -- with the help of her hilarious best friend, carpet heiress Janie Segal, and Evan McKenna, a former flame she thought she'd left behind in New York City. As the search for the killer progresses, Kate is drawn deeper into the murdered woman's double life. She discovers the secrets and lies behind Upchurch's placid picket-fence facade -- and the choices and compromises all modern women make as they navigate between independence and obligation, small towns and big cities, being a mother and having a life of one's own. Engrossing, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny, Goodnight Nobody is another unputdownable, timely tale; an insightful mystery with a great heart and a narrator you'll never forget.
This is my least favorite of Jennifer Weiner's books. Her characters in this novel are left undeveloped throughout the story and are not even really likeable. It starts out good, with a relatable theme: "Suburban housewife (Kate) finds another one dead in her gourmet kitchen" but then the main character for not particular reason other than boredom goes into a Nancy Drew mode to try to find out who was the killer. It is hard to empathize with Kate, she doesn't really love her husband or being a mom, has not interesting voice or past and is frumpy and not even funny. The only saving grace is Kate's friend Janie, who is likable and funny. The twist and resolution on the story leaves a lot to be desired and leaves the reader with more questions than answers. Especially about the husband... and past boyfriend. Why did they play such an important part if nothing was going to link them to the story at all? I didn't get that. I wish Jennifer will go back to writing her funny witty easy read books that are great for the beach! Mystery not her forte.