A Review of “Faking It” by Jennifer Crusie
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This sublimely peculiar family has a dynamic that is a reminder of the often strange rapport that each family develops through the mutually shared traumas of everyday life. The Goodnight family is an eclectic family with a quirky outlook and a shady past. The patriarch, Tony Goodnight, is five years dead and left behind a monster mortgage, which was used to support the family’s declining art gallery. Gwennie, the matriarch of the Goodnight clan, runs the failing gallery in the sense that she sits in the gallery all day doing Double Crostics and generally daydreaming about life in sunnier climates. Eve, Gwennie’s oldest daughter, is a schoolteacher by day and several times a week she performs at her ex-husband’s nightclub. Only she doesn’t perform as “Eve”, but instead dons the persona of “Louise”, which is Eve’s incredibly Freudian alter-ego that allows Eve to express her sexual nature without inhibition. Matilda, Tony and Gwennie’s youngest daughter is the cornerstone of the family and, as such, has taken responsibility for paying off the Goodnight’s debt by painting murals in the houses of upper-middle-class housewives.
Matilda clearly despises her job as we learn in the first sentence of the first page,
“Matilda Goodnight stepped back from her latest mural and realized that of all the crimes she’d committed in her thirty-four years, painting the floor-to-ceiling reproduction of van Gogh’s sunflowers on Clarissa Donnelly’s dining room wall was the one that was going to send her to hell.”
I have to say that it was this one sentence that convinced me to give this book a chance. In summary, the Goodnights handle every bizarre scenario, from art forgery to hit men, with a quirky sense of humor that not only invokes outright laughter, but also makes them come alive on the page. The story begins when Eve’s teenage daughter, Nadine, innocently sells a painting that throws the remaining Goodnights into a panic. It would appear that art forgery is not foreign to the Goodnight Art Gallery and, thus, the painting is evidence of a crime and must be regained. Matilda, ever the level-headed problem-solver, decides to break into the buyer’s house and steal back the painting. Only Matilda never bargained for Davy Dempsey. A former con artist, Davy is on a mission to steal back the valuables that his ex-girlfriend, Clea, stole from him. It just so happens that Clea is also the buyer of the forged Goodnight painting.
It seems cheesy, but I laughed out loud repeatedly. When I finished it, I closed the book, thought about it, and opened it again to the first page only to read it over again. Immediately. I mean, it isn’t like I put it down and then found it months later. I mean to tell you that I immediately read it again. It was that amusing.
This was a great book for those of us with quirks that would drive the Pope to drink. It makes you feel like you aren’t alone in your insanity and, for me, it reminded me of what drew me to my husband…mainly that he found my insanity somehow appealing and amusing.
I must warn you that there are some sex scenes that are a little graphic.
I loved this book. Buy it, read it, and if you hate it then you just don’t get it.