three-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
20-Jan-Feb-2006
user_rating: 
0

A-GoodnightNobody"From now on, the only thing you will care about is breast-feeding, toilet-training, Mommy and Me Pilates mat classes, and whether the kindergarten’s better at Greentown Friends or Upchurch Country Day." Such is the life in which Kate Klein has found herself—uprooted with three small children from New York City to the wilds of Connecticut, which swarms with designer-clothed and painfully cordial housewives. But the fiercely domestic rhythms of manicured kitchens and elite preschools are disrupted when one of the manic mommies is found murdered. Kate wields her journalistic background (at a celebrity tabloid) to unravel the mystery, meanwhile keeping together her marriage, waistline, and sense of sanity.
Atria. 375 pages. $26. ISBN: 0743470117

Charlotte Observer 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Cheating spouses, randy baby sitters, tentative police, and trash-talking, right-wing ghost writers dot the quaint landscape, hinting that all is not what it seems in suburbia. … 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." Rachel Sutherland

Philadelphia Inquirer 3.5 of 5 Stars
"While the mystery in Goodnight Nobody will keep readers guessing, it’s the engaging Kate Klein—and her take on motherhood and womanhood—that propels the book to one that begs to be read in one sitting. It’s time well-spent, even for time-crunched mothers." Mia Geiger

San Jose Mercury News 3.5 of 5 Stars
"Weiner stands out among the chick-lit pack. … Fans will be relieved to know that while the genre has shifted [to murder mystery], Weiner’s natural storytelling, sardonic humor, and vivid characters remain." Nerissa Pacio

Baltimore Sun 3 of 5 Stars
"So strong is Weiner’s gift for dialogue and so sharp are her observations about how a certain kind of smart, sensitive but insecure woman experiences the world, she can get away with a jerry-built story. … She writes to entertain, yes, but also to empathize and connect." Clare McHugh

Washington Post 3 of 5 Stars
"Weiner recognizes that the real mysteries—the ones without tidy Murder, She Wrote endings—are why we marry whom we marry, why we stay with our spouses (and why they stay with us), whether we’re raising our kids as well as we should, and why, in the grand scheme of things, any of it matters. These unknowables couldn’t be in more competent, funny or empathetic hands than Weiner’s." Barbara Feinman Todd

Chicago Sun-Times 2.5 of 5 Stars
"Goodnight Nobody falls squarely in the pleasant-diversion camp. It’s fast, fun reading and, while it is unlikely that most readers will care about the murder at the core of its plot, the book does manage to engage interest with some of its more compelling subplots." Debra Pickett

Miami Herald 2.5 of 5 Stars
"The mystery unfolds with the expected wrinkles and shocking discoveries, though Kate’s sometimes-silly investigative tactics require a suspension of disbelief. But … as long as [Weiner] stays funny, clever, and entertaining she can get away with writing about any topic—even murder." Hanna Sampson

Critical Summary

Although Weiner’s foray into the murder mystery often falls flat into a formulaic and improbable plotline, her characters and wit are charming enough to elicit our forgiveness. While the author bristles at the consignment of her fourth novel into the "chick-lit" genre, it is not a profound critique of duty and dithering in the subculture of affluent motherhood in America. Yet, like her previous successful books, it is a wickedly pleasant read with a likable, disgruntled heroine and delightfully scathing pokes at domestic uppitiness. Never mind the murder; as Weiner takes us among the mansions and Pilates mats, she delves into the twists of love, loss, and suburban ennui.