"Goodnight Nobody" is a very good novel that is several cuts above the average mystery which is forgotten as soon as you finish it. An unusual mix of the literary with satire and mystery, it is hard to peg but easy to recommend.
Kate is a fish out of water in her new Connecticut suburb, where everyone else is a Supermom and is careful to feed their kids only organic foods.
She tries to befriend Kitty, but unfortunately she turns up dead when Kate and her kids show up for a play date. Oops, sorry to bother you, Kitty. Oops, the discovery turns on her latent reporter instincts and she is off nosing around for leads and interviews.
There is much humor and hilarity in the novel, aside from the satire. Her own feelings of inadequacy, fed by her children's excellent timing in upchucking, her inventive lies which backfire on her, her best friend Janie who calls her back to herself as a reporter -- I only wish she had referred to her new hometown as Upchuck more often.
Underneath are themes of self-erasure and identity. Women marry and move to "Upchuck" and we hardly have any idea what they did or what they were before they moved. None of the housewives have a paying position outside the home, and they are rather shocked when it is discovered that Kitty was helping write or research a famous columnist's material. On top of that, Kate's own husband seems to be less than supportive of her efforts to uncover the truth behind Kitty's murder. At the end, Kate and hubby Ben are separated while they sort out their marriage.
Goodnight Nobody, by Jennifer Weiner , Washington Square Press, 2005, 371 pages plus a helpful discussion guide for your local book club. ISBN 978-0-7434-7011-7