Life in suburban Upchurch is anything but picturesque for Kate Klein. Along with three small children and a husband who is hardly at home, Kate has to contend with living up to the standards set by her fellow Upchurch mothers. They're designer-clad, perfectly coiffed---at the playground---and feed their kids organic food. They make motherhood look effortless while Kate, with uncombed hair and a stash of bribe lollipops, "hasn't done one single thing right" since moving from Manhattan to this small Connecticut town.
When Kate arrives for lunch at the home of Kitty Cavanaugh and finds the Upchurch mom murdered, she's jolted from her malaise and sets out to uncover the killer. As her investigation heats up, Kate finds out not only that Kitty had a few dark secrets but that they had a mutual acquaintance---a man from Kate's past who will lead her to reexamine the life she's chosen.
In Goodnight Nobody, Jennifer Weiner brings together two compelling tales---an engrossing murder mystery and a poignant story about one woman's quest to save her sanity and sense of self amidst the challenges of motherhood, marriage, and suburbia.
I will have to admit that when I first started listening to this book I didn't think that I would enjoy it. So I can honestly tell you that I think I enjoyed listening to this book more than I would have liked actually reading it. I try not to read too much light fiction, but the mystery aspect of this book held my attention.
It seems that Kate lives in the perfect suburb with her husband and three children. Kate finds herself wanting to fit in with the other mothers that she meets at the playground, but with their perfect bodies, children that could do no wrong, and spotless clean homes, she realizes that she could never be like them. When Kitty, who is beautiful on both the outside and inside, invites Kate over to her home, she jumps at the chance of friendship with an adult. Unfortunately, Kate arrives to find Kitty murdered in her home so the friendship was over before it began!
After the murder takes place, Kate takes it upon herself to find out why Kitty was murdered and by whom. Kate loves her children but is just not feeling fulfilled with her daily parenting activities. She finds that by focusing on trying to solve this murder case her life once again has more meaning and purpose. She also learns through her investigation that residents in the Upchurch community are not quite as perfect as they appear.
Kate calls on the assitance of her best friend Janie, who is a very interesting character. I couldn't help but laugh when Janie drops some Ecstacy into a drink at Kate's home, that happened to be consumed by Kate's mother. She was one of a kind but you got the sense that Janie would be there and do what needed to be done for her friends.
We also get a glimpse into Kate's past when she finds herself looking for help from a man that she never imagined that she would have to see again. When she gave him her heart years ago, only to turn his back on her, she really wasn't sure how a professional relationship would work with Evan today. As the attraction between Evan and Kate builds throughout the novel Kate begins scrutinizing her marriage and pondering whether her decision to marry was made in haste.
This was an interesting story and although the mystery was solved in a way that seemed reasonable, Kate was still sorting through her personal life at the end of the book and trying to figure out what direction to take. I think I would consider this book a 'cozy mystery', which I don't think I would have enjoyed actually reading, but it was a fun audiobook to listen to.
My Rating: 3/5
Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library and listened to it for my own entertainment.