Friday, June 13, 2014

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Cover image for Where'd you go, Bernadette : a novelWhere'd You Go, Bernadette
By Maria Semple
Little, Brown and Co., 2012. 330 pgs.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette, is a riotous read written almost entirely through a slew of emails, faxes, handwritten letters, etc. put together and narrated by the charming Bee; the daughter of famous recluse architect Bernadette Fox and Microsoft demi-god Elgin. The story narrates the series of events leading up to the sudden and mysterious disappearance of Bernadette Fox two days before Christmas and her daughters frantic search to find her.

The style is witty, fast paced, and hilarious. Semple wrote for the TV series Arrested Development, and the same quirky, odd-ball humor is apparent here as well. Bernadette is an enigmatic character, constantly at battle with the gnats (annoying parents at Bee's private school), the city of Seattle, and her own excessive anxiety. Bee is a delightful character filled with spunk, intelligence, and deep loyalty. This is a perfect beach read this summer and will keep you laughing from start to finish. ZB

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