Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Review: "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple

Bernadette Fox, Bee Branch's mother has disappeared.  You see, Bee had made a deal with her parents, Bernadette and Elgin, that if she got perfect grades throughout her middle school career - she could ask for anything she wanted.  She asks for a family trip to Antarctica, and Bernadette and Elgin agree to keep their word and that maybe a three week family vacation could be what they need.  However, as the trip nears, Bernadette starts to unravel.   This is the story of Bernadette, leading up to when she disappears as told by Bee...  and what happens afterward.  The supporting cast includes a crazy neighbor, delusional administrative assistants at Microsoft, people at the bottom of the world, and the Russian Mafia.  I loved it.

I have wanted to read this for such a long time.  I had heard so many great things about it, and even bought it at the library book sale a few book sales ago.  So now that I'm at the end of my grad school career, and life is as stressful as ever... I decided that now was the perfect time to dig into this funny book.  And it worked!  Truthfully, I would have liked it at anytime.  These characters are so delightfully quirky.... they really set up a great story.  The whole book seems to want to set up the question:  Is Bernadette crazy?  Did she have a break down and run away?  And with all of the twists and turns, you don't really know until the end.  This would be perfect for book groups (you know, if you haven't read it already).  I can only imagine the conversations you could have about this book!

*****
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
by Maria Semple
Back Bay Books 2013.  First Published 2012.
326 pages
Source:  Purchased Used
*****

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4 comments:

Michelle@Book Briefs said...

This one is totally new to me and It looks good. I love finding new books from blogs. :)

Great Review!

Michelle @ Book Briefs

Erin said...

Uh oh, I see an endorsement by Jonathan Franzen on the cover. He and I do NOT get along. But as long as this book isn't too Franzen-like, it sounds like one I'd enjoy! Good call timing the read for when it would relieve a little stress, too :)

Sarah Reads Too Much said...

Ha Erin! I didn't even notice the Franzen quote. I haven't read anything by him (and don't really plan on it) so I have no idea if it is Franzen-esque or not, but I liked it!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

This one is so fun! My book club is discussing it this month and I can't wait. Also, Erin, I can't stand Franzen and I loved this one!

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