Goodnight Beautiful Review
Updated: Dec 27, 2021
I found this to be a unique Misery retelling!
Newlyweds Sam Statler and Annie Potter are head over heels, and excited to say good-bye to New York and start a life together in Sam's sleepy hometown in upstate New York. Or, it turns out, a life where Annie spends most of her time alone while Sam, her therapist husband, works long hours in his downstairs office, tending to the egos of his (mostly female) clientele.
Little does Sam know that through a vent in his ceiling, every word of his sessions can be heard from the room upstairs. The pharmacist's wife, contemplating a divorce. The well-known painter whose boyfriend doesn’t satisfy her in bed. Who could resist listening? Everything is fine until the French girl in the green mini Cooper shows up, and Sam decides to go to work and not come home, throwing a wrench into Sam and Annie's happily ever after.
This was voted as my November #EnchantedReadsBookClub pick! This was a fun book to read and discuss!
This has been on my list ever since I saw my friend's, @permanently_booked review describing this as a Misery retelling. I’m a big Stephen King fan and truly enjoyed reading Misery. So seeing that made me want to pick this up immediately. But of course, immediately never means immediately anymore. It just stares at me from my bookshelf while I read other books…
This has been on my list ever since I saw a friend’s review describing this as a Misery retelling.
So I became very excited once this got voted to be my book club’s November pick! Not only did it finally get me to pick this up, but after I finished reading it, I thought it would make for a great discussion.
If you’re not familiar with Stephen King’s Misery, we follow Annie Wilkes who’s author, Paul Sheldon’s #1 fan. And she gets the chance to meet him when he crashes during a snowstorm. She finds the wreckage and decides to become his nurse and caretaker, wanting to nurse him back to health. But Annie also becomes his captor keeping him imprisoned within her isolated house.
Goodnight Beautiful doesn’t appear to be at all similar to Misery from its summary, but it becomes apparent quickly as we start the book that it was going to be. Especially from what we get to see in the prologue of a scene talking about a missing therapist. Then, as we start our story, we get to know our main characters, the future missing therapist, and an unidentified second perspective.
Goodnight Beautiful doesn’t appear to be at all similar to Misery from its summary, but it becomes apparent quickly as we start the book that it was going to be.
It was this unidentified character that intrigued me the most, mostly as this perspective was set in the first person. Whereas the therapist wasn’t. I didn’t know if I could trust them. Was what I was reading true or was it may be a stretch from the truth?
I was also wary about how much would be the same compared to Misery. And while I was surprised by how unique this was, with its own twists definitely making this story its own, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I did Misery. I particularly didn’t enjoy how much Misery was referenced. I found myself rolling my eyes when I saw another reference as I made my way through the second half of the story. I felt this would have been a stronger story without all the direct references to Misery. It would have been so much better if they were more subtle. And if you weren’t familiar with Misery, I would imagine that this book would not be nearly as enjoyable or easy to follow without that knowledge. Because of this, it seemed a little unfair since this isn’t labeled upfront as a reimagined story of Misery.
I felt this would have been a stronger story without all the direct references to Misery. It would have been so much better if they were more subtle.
However, despite the overboard references, I still found this unique. As I mentioned this still had some great twists. And I really enjoyed how this had a focus on women in fiction often being portrayed in certain ways. This was really interesting to see.
Overall, I still this enjoyable but it didn’t blow me away. Because I was already familiar with Misery, I knew what to expect and there was only one thing that truly shocked me. And I felt this relied too much on being that “Misery retelling.” Though I did appreciate the changes this retelling did to the story.
I think if you were a fan of Misery, you might enjoy this one. But I worry if you aren’t or aren’t familiar with it, this might not be as enjoyable due to how heavily referenced it is within the story.