Where’d You Go, Bernadette
written by Maria Semple
published by Little, Brown and Company
Why did I pick this book: This title is being tossed around on social media so I thought I’d check it out for myself.
Did I enjoy this book: I really did.
I think comedy is probably the hardest genre to write. That’s why I really hesitated before buying this book. A lot of comedy comes across as mean, crass, or just plain stupid. This novel manages to include all three. And it’s laugh out loud hilarious.
The main character, Bernadette, is a brilliant artist/architect. Early in the novel a colleague tells her, “People like you must create. If you don’t create, Bernadette, you will become a menace to society.” Lucky for us, she has no creative outlet in Seattle and we get to laugh hilariously as she becomes a menace to society.
My two favorite parts: the mudslide at Audrey Griffin’s house and the letter from Soon-Lin which reads in part, “I’m in an Internet café in South America,, and this keypoard is so dirty and sticky and HORRIPLE and the P makes a B and the B makes a P and the comma sticks and you have to immediately hit packsbace or else the whole email will pe commas!”
If that little snippet doesn’t make you grin, don’t waste your money. I laugh every time I read it so the book was perfect for me.
Would I recommend it: Yes!
Will I read it again: I’ll probably start it again today.
About the book – from 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.