2012: 55. Goodnight Nobody

"Hello?" I tapped on Kitty Cavanaugh's red front door, then lifted the brass knocker and gave it a few thumps for good measure."

Goodnight Nobody, Jennifer Weiner.

     I like Weiner's books.  I'm firmly on her side in the battle of mid-list women novelists versus the misogynists in publishing/at the New York Times.  I liked aspects of this book.  But in the end it left me unsatisfied, and I'm not exactly sure why.

     It's the story of Kate Klein, who is living, unhappily, in the Connecticut suburbs of New York with her husband and two kids.  She hates the town, which she see thinks of as Stepford, and she hates the Stepford wives who live there.  Most of all, she misses her old life as an employed educated New Yorker.  She loves her kids - but that's just not enough.

    And then, one day, a neighbor asks her over to lunch, and desperate for a connection she goes - only to find her neighbor dead.   Murdered.  From there Kate finds her self being drawn to snoop and try to figure out who killed Kitty Cavanaugh…

    Well - here's what I liked.  How fun to have a suburban murder mystery, and Weiner does a reasonably good job making both Kate's ability to snoop AND the town's reaction to her snooping believable.  Also, I loved, loved, the title, which, just in case you don't know, comes from Goodnight Moon - so sinister and perfect - I'll never look at the little old lady whispering hush the same way.   And, I must emphasize this is a perfectly enjoyable read and I easily read it cover to cover.  

    But, I just couldn't deal with Kate.  She was so unhappy in her life, and made some pretty bad and dumb mistakes, and I couldn't help but think - why don't you make some life changes? Get a job? Go back to work? Be nicer to those kids? I don't mean Weiner didn't create a realistic character, just that the character annoyed me.  Hard to really enjoy her antics, when you can't handle her choice.  But maybe that's just my stuff.  

Categories:  Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017