Kara's Reviews > Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
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Sep 22, 12

Read from September 18 to 22, 2012

I was really excited to read this book. It takes place in Seattle (I love Seattle!) and I'd heard the author talk on NPR this summer. The primary narrator is Bee, Bernadette's daughter, but the majority of the story is told via emails, primarily from Bernadette, her friend Audrey, Soo-Lin (husband's assistant), and virtual assistant Bernadette hired from India.

In the end, this unconventional story-telling method was a Fail. Semple included 4 strong female characters, but gave none a distinct voice -- they all sounded exactly the same by the end of the book. The timeline also fell apart. E.g., did Bee go to the South Pole before or after she left Choate? Why didn't she go when she was originally supposed to, again? In a more traditional narrative, logical storytelling would have been simple. But by the end of this book, I was somewhat discouraged and irritated.

Sadly, I think the potential for good storytelling exists. But this gimmicky approach ruined the book.

(Jenny B -- now I can read your review! :) )
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Reading Progress

09/18/2012 page 6
1.0% "Heard the author interviewed on NPR. Only 6 pages in, and already: loving it!"

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