Friday, December 12, 2003

I'm still slowly working on Mary. Meanwhile last Saturday I read two mysteries by Ayelet Waldman, Nursery Crimes and The Big Nap. They are the first two "Mommy Track" mysteries in a series of what is now four. I first picked these up a while ago at a used book store because she is the wife of one of my absolute favorite authors, Michael Chabon, and I was curious if she is any good. Well, short answer: yes, but. Yes, but she's nowhere near his level, if these are any indication. That's not to say I didn't enjoy them. They were far better than some of the themed mystery books I've read (no cats, for one) and had a few lines that made me laugh out loud. The mysteries themselves weren't terribly original or difficult to figure out (in each I spotted the killer about halfway through) and there was little action or real danger. I think what appealed to me the most was the honest internal monologue of the main character regarding her decision to be a stay-at-home mom. Now, I have a lot of experience with children and I regularly babysit for friends and family and pretty much believed I was the only person who thought playing with kids can be really boring. But the main character, Juliet, admits the same thing. She also talks about the ambivalence she feels about wanting to work, yet wanting to be with her kid(s). There were a few moments like that that felt really honest and true, thrown in there with the fairly generic murder plot. I don't know if the other two titles are any good but I'll probably check them out from the library because these two were fun and quick reads.

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