Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple- Book Review

Where'd You Go, Bernadette


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. - goodreads 

I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. I really enjoyed it.

Bernadette has some sort of social anxiety, basically from feeling misunderstood - after all she is a McMaster Grant winner. She doesn't like going to Bee's school social committee, which the other moms can't quite understand. I mean, she even hired a personal assistant from India to deal with day to day errands, like making reservation for dinner.  While reading about her, you don't know if you want to slap her or hug her.  I mean, she seems like a cool mom to have.
“That's right,' she told the girls. 'You are 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.”

Elgie, the husband/father, works at Microsoft and is in the middle of this new program launch.  After moving to Seattle, he just kinda goes with the flow. (which isn't necessarily a good thing).

Bee the genius daughter achieved her goal of receiving straight A's on her report card. And her reward of this feat was that she could go anywhere that she wants. Her pick? Antarctica. Defiantly wouldn't have been my top pick that's for sure...  Bee is someone everyone could relate to.

As the title suggests, Bernadette disappears. Bee (who is 15) blames her father. I mean, why wouldn't you. Father never around, busy with work, doesn't really understand Bernadette's anxiety, and tries to stage an intervention that goes to shit. The first bit of the book deals with the point up to the 'disappearance' and then it goes to Bee trying to find her. 

Also, just to point out my favourite parts of the story goes to the relationship between Bernadette and her neighbor, Audrey.  I just found this to be the most humorous. The whole mudslide thing. Yup.

The thing that may steer people away is the way its written. It is written 'after the fact' of Bernadette's disappearance, with the collection of emails, magazine articles, dialogue, etc. I enjoyed this a lot as it gave a more widespread narrative into the live of Bee and Berndatte. Then in the last third of the book it is told entirely in Bee's perspective. Which once you read until then, makes sense. Other than that I think everyone should pick this one up. Its a good, light, satirical read that will amke you laugh and maybe even shed a tear.

  “One of the main reasons I don't like leaving the house is because I might find myself face to face with a Canadian.” 

No comments:

Post a Comment