Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Reading Maria Semple’s book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, was like a breath of fresh air, especially after reading Revenge Wears Prada. This book was everything Revenge Wears Prada wasn’t in the best possible way. It was clever and creative. It had a heart. I loved all of the characters and their quirky ways. The style was refreshing and always kept me on my toes. It was exactly what I needed to read after wasting time on Revenge.
Where’d You Go Bernadette is the story of 15 year old Bee and her parents, Bernadette and Elgin. They live in Seattle, Washington where Elgin works as a whiz for Microsoft (he’s renowned for giving the 4th most popular TED Talk), Bee attends private school, and Bernadette spends her time swatting away the “gnats” (the nickname she has come to give the annoying residents of Seattle) and becoming increasingly agoraphobic. The latter proves to be a great obstacle for Bernadette when Bee decides to cash in on her promised middle school graduation present of whatever she wants. And Bee wants to go to Antarctica.
Following the hilarious build-up to the trip, Bernadette vanishes without a trace. To find her mother, Bee puts together bits and pieces of everything from old emails to FBI reports to her neighbor’s letters to a “blackberry abatement specialist.” The entire book is Bee putting together the puzzle pieces of her mother’s life to try and figure out what happened.
Semple’s style reads like a refreshing breeze coming at just the right moment: it’s light, enjoyable, and came through right after being hot and bothered by my most recent choice of reading. If you read Where’d You Go, Bernadette, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.