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Book Review: Where’d you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Why did I pick this one? … THE COVER of course! And I am SO pleased I did…

Where’d you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Genre: Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Humour

BUG Rating: 4/5

Overall: I found this book something totally different. I loved the unique story and structure. The book itself tells the story of Bernadette and her disappearance through mostly correspondence (email, fax, letters), articles and inner thoughts from the different character viewpoints. The characters are all quite quirky, some loveable, some not so much, but they are all pretty amusing. I am not going to go into any of their backstories, because I really enjoyed discovering them for myself throughout the book, BUT I will say, the story is vividly told as the ‘unravelling’ of Bernadette, who is a really awesome character. She’s misunderstood by many, loved by few, she’s eccentric, brilliant and totally flawed. The book was hilarious with at times, laugh out loud moments (reminded me of Desperate Housewives!), but also it was kind of sad, ultimately about self-acceptance. This was a truly heart-warming story. It’s definitely a must read and I am so excited to hear the screen adaptation has just come out with Cate Blanchette staring as Bernadette!! I will definitely be watching it!

You’re bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.

Plot:

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 her best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette vanishes. It all 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, and secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and surprisingly touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.


Pros:

+ Unmatched wit

+ Unique structure of the book was fantastic and a welcome change

+ Bernadette’s and Bee’s characters/development

+ The clever writing!

Cons:

– Not so sure about one of the storyline’s (Soo-Lin’s)

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