Book Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
July 9, 2014 18 Comments
From Goodreads: “Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.”
Where’d You Go, Bernadette?: What I thought
An easy going book. It consists of a number of emails, notes and diary entries by people who deal with Bernadette in some way or another.
In most of the book Bernadette herself is present. She’s involved in many situations. No-one in her little town likes her and her husband thinks she’s going crazy. I got a impression about Bernadette that I kept having to adjust. That was nicely done.
The different pieces in the book are alternated with the diary of the daughter, Bee, who is actually the most important person in the book. She is a very intelligent teenager but lives her own live. From her diary it becomes clear that she doesn’t have a clue what’s really going on.
The neighbors are awkward people but Bernadette gets the blame for everything that goes wrong. People gossip about her, especially her neighbor and the neighbor’s friend, who is also the secretary of Bernadette’s husband.
Eventually, Bernadette goes missing and Bee and her father undertake an adventurous trip in order to try and find her back, almost against all odds.
I loved this crazy book with mad neighbors, an unlikely holiday, a psychiatrist who’s totally out of line, an Indian virtual assistant, and much more.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (good to very good)
Number of pages: 330
First published: 2012
I got this: bought myself
Genre: contemporary fiction, humor