Thursday, June 2, 2011

Goodnight, Beautiful by Dorothy Koomson

Goodnight, Beautiful is the June selection of my FLICKS Book and Movie Club. Nova and Mal have been best friends their entire lives. When Mal and his wife Stephanie can’t have a child of their own, they ask Nova to be a surrogate mother. Things do not go as planned and Mal and Stephanie cut Nova out of their lives before the baby is born. Nova is left raising baby Leo on her own. After tragedy strikes, she must decide whether to allow Mal back in her and Leo’s lives again.

I had a love/hate relationship with this book, which I think will provide for a good decision during our book club meeting this weekend. I thought Goodnight, Beautiful was a very hard book to get into at first. The narrative switches between Nova and Stephanie and back and forth in time. It was hard to understand who was talking sometimes and when. Once I got into the book however, I enjoyed reading it and wanted to know how it ended. Once I reached the end, I was disappointed in the conclusion, but don’t want to spoil the book for others so I’ll have to leave that discussion for book club. I’ll just say that I didn’t think the essential conflict in the novel was resolved by the ending.

I liked the unique characters is this book. They all had problems to overcome and were fully three dimensional characters that I enjoyed reading about. I also liked the supernatural element – Nova sees ghosts and runs a psychic cafĂ©. I also liked how Nova didn’t want to necessarily be a mother, but then her son Leo became the real love of her life. Mal was a great character too, but his flaw was being too loving and trusting of his wife to the detriment of his friendship with Nova.

Overall, Goodnight, Beautiful was a so-so chick lit novel. It had great characters with a unique and compelling storyline, but I think it was overall dragged down by a very slow start and a bad ending. Make sure to have your Kleenex ready when you read this book, I had to work hard to not cry during the end while riding in the car with the family.

Book Source: The Kewaunee Public Library


  1. i agree with you .
    tho i didnt really get lost , it was obvious who was talking and when , and it was really interesting that it kept changing times and characters , also i didnt think the ending was bad tho it was unexpected but it was reasonable and i kind of share same principles as Nova therefore i loved how it ended .

  2. This is the second Koomson book I have read. And I loved it. The only disapointing thing to me is the ending. Why? Why couldnt they run off into the sunset at the end after all of that. My favorite part of the book was when Nova accused Mal of never wanting her. His speech after that, the missed opportunites.