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

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
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's review
Jan 06, 13

really liked it
Read in January, 2013

Fabulously-written book about a true "character", Bernadette Fox. I had this book on my to-read list already, but was prompted to read it sooner because my friend Becky (with whom I'm on an unbroken we-always-like-the-same-books streak) read it and really liked it. I really liked this book. Wonderful writing (the kind where you want to go back and re-read passages and savor them) and amazing characters.

Bernadette Fox is one of those characters that will stay with you over time. Sort of like Ignatius Reilly from a Confederacy of Dunces, or the character Otto from the movie A Fish Called Wanda (remember him?). She is a true piece of work. And it's not just her. All the characters in this book are wonderfully drawn, even the more minor ones. I loved to hate the antagonistic neighbor Audrey Griffin, for example.

This book was downright funny, yet almost poignant. Have a mentioned the writing was excellent? Here's one small example:

"I just wanted to leave L.A. in a snit, lick my considerably wounded ego, and when I determined that everyone felt sufficiently sorry for me, unfurl my cape and swoop in to launch my second act and show those bastards who the true bitch goddess of architecture really is."

I'm restraining myself from adding more examples here... you get the idea.

I also loved that Seattle was basically a character in the book as well. I love when authors essentially turn geographical locations into characters. Even though I'm not that familiar with Seattle I got the joke most of the time.

If you like quirky, character-driven, unusually-structured books, this book is for you.
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