My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“She probably gives him organic blow jobs” was my favorite line in the whole book. There. That either made you want to devour (ahem) the book immediately or give it a wide berth, but either way that’s pretty effective book reviewing, if I say so myself.
Bookshelves: chick-lit, current-social-issues, humor, women, mystery, poking-fun-at-serious-stuff, popular-fiction, multiple-povs
I was totally not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did, considering my surprise that I even read it. Even the cover looks frothy. But I could not put it down.
There were a few nice surprises in this surprisingly deep bit of chick lit. First is how well Moriarty pulls off the range of issues she takes on, with both insight and humor. My favorites were the Blond Bobs, those sanctimonious, soccer-mom-ish bitches who clique around with their fingers in everything, only deigning to acknowledge you to bestow a you’re-a-bad-mother look when they see your child eating a processed cheese stick. The major issues (besides murder) include bullying and domestic violence, with realistic peeks inside the marriages and what’s going on in the the heads occupying those marriages; minor things include mommy wars and pretentiousness and taking motherhood so goddamn seriously in the first place. I mean, my generation turned out (mostly) fine without every last minute of our lives being scheduled and a parent hovering around every last thing we did. My generation, you know. We played with dirt, and we were happy, to quote Walter. We didn’t have “playdates.” We said, “Mom, can I go play with Carla?” and Mom said yes, so we ran across the street and knocked on Carla’s door and asked Mrs. Smith if Carla could play, and Mrs. Smith said yes, and then we played. Spontaneous, imaginative, not having every social encounter themed and choreographed and made into a competition. Maybe we spread Barbie dolls out on the lawn. Maybe we went to Paula’s house and watched the TV shows our own mothers considered unwholesome. (In 1967. Tell me what was so poisonous on television in 1967.) Maybe we took turns “skiing” in the middle of the street, one of us blistering at top speed on a bike, the other being towed on roller skates by holding on to the sissy bar, without helmets, and the neighbors didn’t care because that’s what a residential suburban neighborhood was all about, and if you don’t want to be careful of kids playing in the street, go buy a condominium somewhere. Nobody freaked out, even after we’d wiped out and blood was flowing (my knee; I still have the scar). And when we got caught playing I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours, people didn’t lose their blooming minds and scream “sexual abuse” and call the police and lawyer up and try to ruin some curious child’s life. We were kids, and we were allowed to be kids.
Huh. Apparently there was a rant in there.
Back to the book.
The other fun surprise was the sort-of-backward way the murder mystery was handled. The suspense is largely created by not finding out who the murder victim even is until right before the denouement. You know somebody’s going to get it, but not who. So you keep turning the pages as events unfold and injustices build, thinking s it this hoity-toity holier-than-thou bitch, maybe strangled with her own ponytail after getting caught boffing somebody else’s husband? or Is it this asshole, thinks he’s King of the Hill, look how he done her wrong! With every new development, there’s a new potential victim, a new potential killer.
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