Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Genre: Fiction

Summary (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

Review: It took me a little while to get into this book, which is primarily written as letters or emails between the characters, interspersed with entries from Bernadette's daughter, Bee.  Bernadette's character initially came across as neurotic, selfish, crazy and completely unlikeable.  But once I figured out who all the characters were, learned more about Bernadette, and got used to the writing style, I found that I couldn't put the book down.  It's quirky and funny and almost soap-opera-ish with the unbelievable things that happen, and I found myself laughing my way through the book just waiting to see what crazy thing would happen next.  The satire of private school parents, Seattle, Microsoft and even Canadians was very entertaining, too.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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