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Goodnight Nobody: A Novelby Jennifer Weiner
Synopses & Reviews
For Kate Klein, a semi-accidental mother of three, suburbia has 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 the most exciting thing to happen in Upchurch, Connecticut, since her neighbors broke ground for a guesthouse and cracked their septic tank. Even though the local police chief warns her that crime-fighting's a job best left to the professionals, Kate launches an unofficial investigation — from 8:45 to 11:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when her kids are in nursery school.
As Kate is drawn deeper into the murdered woman's past, she begins to uncover the secrets and lies behind Upchurch's picket-fence facade — and considers the choices and compromises all modern women make as they navigate between marriage and independence, small towns and big cities, being a mother and having a life of one's own.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"While the mystery...will keep readers guessing, it's the engaging Kate Klein...that propels the book to one that begs to be read in one sitting. It's time well-spent, even for time-crunched mothers." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Were it not for the murder mystery that dominates the plot, Goodnight Nobody would be a saga about desperate housewives trapped in the suburbs, a Peyton Place for the 21st century, only more modern, hip, and funny than the original." Boston Globe
"Weiner's first attempt at mystery writing is an all-around success...from the nonconformist heroine to the story line that keeps you guessing right up to the end." Charlotte Observer
"Jennifer Weiner has a gift for creating funny, flawed heroines...but as a suspense writer, she's still finding her footing. The Desperate Housewives gimmick throws Goodnight Nobody off focus, robbing us of Weiner's typically razor-sharp originality. (Grade: B)" Entertainment Weekly
"Weiner's knack for creating characters with personality and witty social commentary make this a winner." Library Journal
"It's like Desperate Housewives: The Novel....It's fast, fun reading." Chicago Sun-Times
"Ultimately, it's flat characters such as the militant anti-feminist Baird that hold back the novel. That's frustrating because Weiner proves she can create a rich, multi-dimensional persona." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Goodnight Nobody is witty and clever, and Weiner proves that her writing prowess extends beyond chick lit and deeply into the mystery genre....Weiner is gifted and funny, and Goodnight Nobody equals her earlier well-received works." BookReporter.com
"Weiner is undeniably funny, and her sketches on motherhood will make you laugh. But neither the romance nor the mystery fully tracks. Weiner neatly deploys a school of red herrings, but the ending is so preposterous that it almost derails the entire novel. (Grade: B-)" Christian Science Monitor
"Fans will be relieved to know that while the genre has shifted, Weiner's natural storytelling, sardonic humor and vivid characters remain." San Jose Mercury News
A young mother moves to a postcard-perfect Connecticut town where she unravels crime while her children are in nursery school. Investigating a death, she discovers disturbing truths.
About the Author
Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and The Next Best Thing. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.
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