Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Where'd you go Bernadette - Maria Semple

Bernadette Fox has vanished. When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces.

Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where'd You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter's love for her mother. 

My thoughts:
The first part of the book was great, the middle part was only ok and frankly depressing at times. The last part was good. I do wish it had been constant, but oh well.

The story is told via emails between two women, between emails between Bernadette and her virtual assistant in India, and via many other things. Later we learn that Bee is writing a book and has all of this is her source, trying to piece together why her mum went missing.

Bernadette has many issues, that's for sure. Creativity drove her a bit mad.
Bee is a good kid.
The dad is all about Microsoft, and maybe he should listen more.

I did like the way it was told, those emails gossiping, the insight into others, and then the big question, where'd she go? That even had me worried for real, and I liked how it all tied together at the end.

Conclusion:
But yeah it was just sad at times, depressing really. But it turned out well in the end.

Cover
eh

Paperback, 330 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Back Bay Books (first published 2012)
Fiction
Library


44 comments:

  1. I listened to this one and thought the audio was fantastic.

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  2. Replies
    1. Nice word! LOL, and yes that does say it all

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  3. It sounds like Bernadette put you through a range of emotions. I've always wanted to read this!

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  4. I have to be in the right mood to tackle a book like this that's more on the depressing side, but I'm glad it ended well at least!

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    1. Only the middle part but yeah depressing

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  5. Too bad it wasn't consistent. The format sounds interesting. My youngest loves stories through Iming, Email etc.

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    1. I read one entirely in email once, so fun

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  6. You've been reading a lot of lighter books recently. They all look so good!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. It seems to be the books I have been drawn to lately

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  7. Hmmm I didn't walk away thinking sad but then again I enjoy emotional, dark reads. I will always remember the mudslide scene, I was seriously rolling with laughter, I had to walk away from the book and come back.

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    1. That was funny, but then when they all ganged up on her, that was sad

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  8. I really enjoyed this one and the emails made it a little different. It was clever.

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  9. Good to hear you liked the way it was told, but sorry it wasn't consistant quality

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  10. I have heard about this book, but I didn't realize it was sad and depressing. I don't want that right now. Have your read Attachements by Rowell?

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    1. Nope, the book does not tell me anything, I have to go look at the cover ;)

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  11. Oh glad you enjoyed it for the most part and how the ending happened. Microsoft? :p

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  12. That's an interesting concept for how to tell a book. The emails back and forth.

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  13. I've heard of this book and seen some reviews around. It did not look like a depressing story at all, so it's really interesting to hear there are sad moments.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. If you read it you will see, I did not expect it either

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  14. I love that when we have a format like that, a bit different

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  15. I don't know if I'd like the depressing part, but if there is a light at the end of the tunnel I could do it. Sounds good and I like that the emails and stuff play a part. I've had two books recently do that and loved it.

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    1. There is light at the end of the tunnel, fear not

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  16. I've wanted to read this for a long time. I didn't realize it was told through e-mails, which sounds interesting!

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  17. I listened to the audio of this one, I liked it, but I wasn't crazy about it. The narration was pretty good, though.

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  18. Eh on the middle and the depressing. So not the book for me right now.

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  19. Not a fan of depressing but at least there was a good ending!

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