Title: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Author: Maria Semple
Synopsis: “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.”
Why I can’t live without this book: Listen up: some books should make you think, and some books should make you feel, and some books should make you laugh at the wit and humor of it all. This novel particularly exudes the last statement – read: wit and humor, Seattle, Washington-style – because sometimes you just need a novel to be fun, not completely brainless, made just for an airplane flight. I will say this, though: I think you’ll have a greater appreciation for Semple’s writing if you “get” Northwest culture and/or have an innate understanding of Seattle. Just a hunch.
(One of my) favorite quotes: “It’s like a hypnotist put everyone from Seattle into a collective trance. “You are getting sleepy, when you wake up you will want to live only in a Craftsman house, the year won’t matter to you, all that will matter is that the walls will be thick, the windows tiny, the rooms dark, the ceilings low, and it will be poorly situated on the lot.” This could not be any more true, especially given life’s current Seattle trajectory!
So, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Were you a fan? Did you love or loathe the wit, the humor and the overall Northwest vibes of it all?
*Post contains Amazon Affiliate links: click on the link, buy your book and a few pennies gets kicked over to me. Thanks!