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

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
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Jan 16, 2013

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bookshelves: fiction

** spoiler alert ** This isn't a bad book. It suffers from a bad marketing campaign in that **spoiler alert** we know from the outset that Bernadette vanishes, but this doesn't happen until you're almost 2/3 through the book. Perhaps you care for her more once getting to know her, but Bernadette is not a totally likable person. OK, she's dealing with some real Seattle looney-bins, but she does do some crazy things herself (not that I blame her for the blackberry incident). It was interesting to get to know Bernadette through the documents compiled and sent to her daughter.

On style, this is a book written as emails, faxes, letters, newspaper articles, but only necessary explanatory narration. I had no trouble with that, but I know some do. The plotting is not linear, but you eventually know all you need to know to understand what happens. I'm not sure there is enough there there to make it discussable, but I'm sure many book clubs will read it.

Perhaps I would have understood more had I been totally conversant with the Seattle culture, though I think upper-class, stay-at-home moms with kids in private schools are somewhat alike. Didn't quite "get" the skewering of Microsoft.

I'm going to relent and give this book 3 stars because it was at least good enough for me to finish.
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