Monday, 23 September 2013

Review of Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I read Where'd You Go, Bernadette as part of my reading group and it is, without doubt, one of the funniest books that I have read. I absolutely loved it.

At first glance, Bernadette Fox is wife to senior Microsoft employee Elgie Branch and loving mother to Bea. However, to the other mothers at Bea's school, Bernadette is glamorous but unfriendly and even slightly crazy. When one of the mother decides to google Bernadette, the only thing that she can find online is an entry about a trailblazing architect who hasn't been seen for over twenty years. Surely that is not the same Bernadette, is it?

Everything seemed as normal as could be in Bea's household until she asks to go to Antartica after getting straight As at school. Much to everyone's surprise (even her own), Bernadette throws herself into preparing for this trip. However, all is not as it seems and when the illusive Bernadette goes missing, her daughter Bea tries every to track her down. Told through a series of emails, letters and messages, finding Bernadette also becomes a story about finding who she is and what she is really afraid of. I loved Bernadette's character with her outlandish theories and names for people. I also found the character of Majula, the online assistant, to be a brilliant if somewhat frightening addition.

I sat down to start reading this book on a Saturday morning and literally did not move until I finished it. It is a real feel good book with lots of laugh out loud moments with my particular favourite being a hilariously timed landslide. I could imagine this being made into a film.

Highly recommended and one of my favourite books of the year.

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