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

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
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's review
Jan 03, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: 2013
Read in January, 2013

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" is a funny, fast read about the sad state of affairs for agoraphobic architectural genius Bernadette Fox. A few days before Christmas, she disappears from her life, and the book alternates between the memories of her daughter, Bee, and a series of documentation regarding Bernadette's life leading up to and including her disappearance.

The main characters of Bernadette, Bee, and Bernadette's husband, Elgie, are so affectionately portrayed that the reader gets the full sense of their humanity even throughout the crazy situation that ultimately transpires. Other characters are entertaining caricatures that are close enough to real life personas that I highlighted many passages and noted them with "lol" and "omg". I really enjoyed the hijinks surrounding the private school that Bee attends.

The novel contains deeper undertones of the methods people use to escape from reality, and how some of those methods are lambasted and others are lauded. In the midst of all the craziness, however, the main theme is that of the love between a mother and her daughter. It was a funny, zany, sometimes touching read and I highly recommend it.
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