Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Club: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

I know, a book review after such a lame week of posts (or lack thereof) probably seems like a super big cop out, but I promise I've got something exciting in store for you tomorrow... Stay tuned.

My aunt told me about Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple ages ago, but I put off reading it until recently because it was our October book club select at work (I didn't want to read it too early and then forget all the details). Man, was I missing out!

I do feel the need to admit that I may have liked this book so much because it is set in Seattle. I tend to enjoy reading more when I can relate directly to the characters or locations. That being said, even without the local connection this book was fantastic. I read it in just a few hours, mostly during my flight home from Denver. And now, for my next trip, I kind of want to book a trip to Antarctica. Let me explain...

Bernadette Fox is a wife and mother with agoraphobia so bad that she hires an offshore personal assistant to handle her day-to-day errands. She wasn't always like this; in fact, she used to be a rising star in the architecture world... but something bad happened, changing Bernadette into a pessimistic recluse. Her Microsoft-guru husband, Elgin, still loves her, and her daughter, Bee, thinks the world revolves around her. Her fellow private-school mothers can't stand Bernadette, but this doesn't bother her as Bee continues to get straight A's and is rewarded with a promised family trip to Antarctica. But then the FBI comes a-knocking, and Bernadette disappears.
Where did she go? I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents and secret correspondence that is woven together to create an incredibly readable and touching novel about the roles we play in an often absurd world.
What I can say is that you'll love Bee, you'll love Bernadette, and you'll love this book. I particularly liked how each character's issues are portrayed honestly, but in a compassionate and heart-warming manner. And Bernadette's intense allergy to the city of Seattle, and her outlines of stereotypical local behavior, will leave Pacific Northwesterners chuckling and nodding.
“Hovering over me was the Chihuly chandelier. Chihulys are the pigeons of Seattle. They're everywhere and even if they don't get in your way, you can't help but build up a kind of antipathy toward them.”  
Seattleite or not, I hope you enjoy it!


  1. I want to read this now too!!! I'm buying this one n the last one you reviewed!

  2. Loved this book too! It read like a Wes Anderson movie a little. Such a great read!

  3. This was such a great book! I'm so excited they are making it into a movie!

    - Jess @ The Odell Yodel

  4. I really, really want to read this book.

  5. I loved this book! Such a fun read :)


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