Where to start…where to start with this one. A) It was a book club selection. B) I had no idea what to expect. C) The cover fits the book perfectly.
Maria Semple’s second novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel was a quirky one. Often I found myself saying what is going on right now?? We have TEDTalks, emails, text messages and then pockets of narration from different points of view. There’s a young girl, a trip to Antarctica, a feisty mother and crazy desperate-housewife-ish ladies. Like I said, I really had no idea what would come next.
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.
It’s like Arrested Development and the first 30 minutes of Moulin Rouge (you know where everything is utter.chaos) got together and had a baby. There’s a variety of characters that make the story interesting and the ones you thought you knew, end up either shocking or surprising you.
You can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of the story and domestic life in high class Seattle. Nothing like a little satire to get you through the day right? There were a couple things that bothered me and ruined the story a bit (I think the story would have been better without them). But for the most part, I enjoyed the wild ride known as Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Go figure.
Have you read it? What’s you think? Let’s discuss in the comments!