Where’d You Go, Bernadette; Maria Semple

where'd you go

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One Response to “Where’d You Go, Bernadette; Maria Semple”

  1. bachbooks Says:

    Bee Branch’s parents promised her “anything” she wanted as a graduation present if she earned perfect marks at her private grade school. After another flawless report card in the fall of 8th grade, she wants a family trip to Antarctica, and her parents agree to honor the deal. Title character Bernadette, a jaded, eccentric, and reclusive housewife/architect in exile, starts making arrangements for the trip, and her father Elgin, a Microsoft tech guru, clears his busy schedule for their Christmas vacation adventure. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us, their misadventures begin long before anyone boards a plane to Antarctica and continue to the ends of the earth and the end of the book.

    The Fountainhead meets Me Talk Pretty One Day, Where’d You Go, Bernadette was a delight to read. Born and raised in greater Seattle, I found the characters’ wry observations of Seattle hilariously accurate. I laughed out loud on several occasions, and proclaim one line, about an NPR report on war in the Congo, the funniest thing I have read in years. The book consists mostly of emails, letters, and official records, with an occasional bit of narration by Bee. This format provides continual perspective shifts and various voices to contribute to our understanding of the story, and it makes for rapid reading. I devoured this book in three days, and I encourage everyone (with or without Seattle roots) to do the same.

    Rating: 5 stars

    Recommendations: Freedom, The Fountainhead, Me Talk Pretty One Day

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