Monday, September 14, 2009

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner

All right, I wasn't planning to blog about this book, because I was reading it for strictly fun, but it turned out to be a fantastic novel worth mentioning. The book is Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner (and three cheers to whoever gets the literary reference in that title!). It was a little bit Tom Perotta's The Abstinence Teacher for suburbia satire, a little bit The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer for a take on the politics of mothering, but it was a thousand times better than both these novels put together. A murder mystery that had me guessing until the very end, amused and intrigued throughout, and reading like a madwoman to uncover whodunit. Her take on the "mommy-wars" manages to be well-considered and hilarious.

My impression of Weiner's work is that it's somewhat formulaic (though I could be wrong-- I've only read one other of her novels and seen a movie of the other) and she has made herself somewhat of a spokeswoman for chicklit (on her own very excellent blog and elsewhere). She is incredibly articulate and great at arguing her cause, though the problem with this is that most of the chicklit she speaks for is not remotely as good as the stuff she writes. Nevertheless, I get the impression from reader reviews that Goodnight Nobody was something of a departure for her, no matter what its cover looks like, and as a lover of good books, I must say Weiner pulls it off with aplomb.