Thursday, January 24, 2008

They Did It With Love - Kate Morgenroth

They Did It With Love
Kate Morgenroth


It seems that every city-dweller dreams of living in the peaceful suburbs, where life appears to be so much less complicated. Manhattanites Sofie and her husband nurture the same feelings, and move to upscale Greenwich, CT to live out the dream. It doesn’t take long for Sofie to discover that the pretty suburban neighborhoods mask their own kind of competition. Status depends on your house, its location, and your husband’s occupation. There’s even a sort of cold war going on between book clubs. You can belong to the mommy book club or to the mystery book club, but definitely not to both; you need to choose a side.

Getting into the mystery book club, which meets monthly and is currently reading Miss Marple novels by Agatha Christie, requires an invitation. Once in the club, Sofie meets members Ashley, Susan, Julia, and Priscilla. If anyone in the group seems to be a golden girl, it’s Julia: perfect house, perfect husband, and perfect life. That is, until Julia’s murder stirs up a lot of long-kept secrets. Sofie discovers that even her own husband has secrets. Working to unravel the mystery of Julia’s death, Sofie learns that there’s a whole second world going on under the placid surface of everyday suburban life; and that people will go to almost any lengths for love.

I was worried that this would read like a version of “Desperate Housewives.” Fortunately, it doesn’t. This is a much deeper exploration of how well you really know your neighbor, your friends, or even the person who sleeps next to you every night. That said, the mystery is laid out in a thoroughly entertaining way, forcing Sofie (and the reader) to wade through various versions of the truth, while attempting to determine which version is really accurate. The characters are sharply drawn and complex, never veering into caricature. Uncovering everyone’s secrets is half the fun… as long as you don’t have to live with the results.

Rating: 7 ½
January 2008
ISBN# 978-0-452-26897-3 (trade paperback)


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