Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Where’d You Go, Bernadette- by Maria Semple- 326 pages
Book Blurb:
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.
My Review: 3.5 stars (so close to 4)
This book was a welcome reprieve from my usual genre and in my opinion, the epistolary writing style is what made this book a success. Often satirical in describing the PC schools, the mothers (gnats), the Microsoft way of living and using a virtual assistant were all done effortlessly.  At times I laughed out loud at some of the antics in this story. While reading, I was imagining the scenes as a sitcom and I’ve just learned that this author is actually a writer for the sitcom Arrested Development. It totally makes sense, especially in her satirical humor. Using Seattle and Antarctica as the two main settings is something not many authors could have pulled off so well. Ultimately, this book is about finding yourself and being true to that person as well as to those in your family.
Quotes I liked:
- “Don’t go all Jesus on me. “

“I ignored her and threw my head back. Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.”

- “People who don’t get seasick have no idea what it’s like. It’s not just nausea. It’s nausea plus losing the will to live.

- Tags: Fiction, 2012, Chick Lit, Funny

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