Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner

After my new found authour high, I immediately delved into another offering by Jennifer Weiner. This time it was a mystery. So immediately, I knew that I was not going to be reading the same book twice. (Don't you hate that, formula authors?). The main character this time around is Kate, married with 3 kids living in a Stepford-esque town in Conneticut. She's an ex-New Yorker who feels completely lost and out of place faced with these 'perfect' moms. It's like high school all over again, a popularity contest fought on the playground rather than the lunch room. I think most moms can relate to this, feeling of not quite up to snuff.
I can relate. I know I'm a little more on the peaceful parenting/crunchy granola side of the spectrum, but I don't fit in competely there either. I use disposable diapers, not homemade organic cloth ones. I had an epidural for the birth of both my kids (no home birth without drugs for me). I breastfed both little ones, the first to not quite a year and the second to 17 months (it was time people, we were done). But I know I don't fit in on the other side of the parenting spectrum either. When it comes to co-sleeping, both my kids did it (in fact my youngest still moves into our bed at some point in the night). The idea of letting him cry it out breaks my heart. But now I'm getting completely off-topic, I'm supposed to be discussing the book.
So...Kate finds the body of one of these so called 'perfect' moms. She can't shake it and can't leave it up to the police, so she decides to do her own investigating. What she uncovers makes her question her own ease and balance of image and real parenting. Who are we that matters? What do we project? What would we find out about each other if we were just a little more real?
I liked the concept. Some of the book for me was just okay...there were a few jumps in Kate's investigation that left me questioning where we were a bit. But Jennifer Weiner's characters were once again impeccable. You know these women. They are relatable. There are people like them in your life. I can forgive her jumps, she's not a mystery author. It's the sense of self that you take away that makes this worth reading.

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