Thursday, September 6, 2012

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, BernadetteWhere'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.
My thoughts: Finally. A hilarious and quirky American book that made me laugh out loud. I have foundBritish authors that do this but the humorous is too British. American authors are often too crass and obvious. This one was perfect!

One of my favorite books of all time is "The Sweet Potatoes Pie Literary Society." Not only is the story itself worthwhile but the way the story is presented is incredibly clever. Different narrator's and all through post. This book has a narrator to fill in the gaps but the book is primarily told through emails, faxes, letters, and any other kind of written communication. The result is the best character development a reader could wish for. A pious and self righteous neighbor who is blind to her own son's delinquency and always blaming another while the world revolves around her. Her best friend, recently divorced single mother who loves the gossip and creates reality inside her head while carrying a martyr complex. Engie, who is brilliant but self absorbed, and Bernadette, the protagonist who is quirky and misunderstood.

Between communications and the added narration of Bee, the daughter, the events leading ul to Bernadette's disappearance are reconstructed. The most outlandish ideas are concocted and worked into the story in a delightful manner. You will love Bernadette and more than appreciate the gnats because you already know them from your own life. It is a hilarious read and I can't wait to read more of this author.

4.5 stars


Mary (Bookfan) said...

It sounds fabulous and I can't wait to read it. I have the author's previous book on my tbr shelf. Maybe I'll read that one first. Great review!

squiresj said...

sounds interesting. jrs362hotmail dot com

Kim said...

Just today, I was searching for a new epistolary novel to read, as I was hoping to find something like the Guernsey potato peel pie book (which I hated to see end).

I'll be looking for Bernadette myself.