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Where'd You Go, Bernadette
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Where'd You Go, Bernadette > Which character developed the most over the course of the novel?

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Emily Bloor (emilybloor) | 104 comments Mod
Bee with her biggest challenge to date and development into a teenager from a child?
Bernadette's journey to Antarctica to please her beloved daughter and her acceptance of the past?
Elgie's perception of his wife and need to grow to support her?
Soo-Lin's beliefs in VAV and friendship with Audrey?
Audrey's change between enemy to friend with Bernadette?


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J.C. Greenway (jcgreenway) | 29 comments Yes, Bernadette I think. Did you feel that she would be seen as a bit eccentric in the UK, but in the US - it needs an intervention?!
She and Bee were having a great time, hanging out together, listening to music, chatting, but she's seen as not fully achieving, she's 'betraying her talent' because she's not working as well. As if it's terrible that she's taking some time out before her child leaves home and begins to need her less. I thought she was almost the opposite of Sheryl Sandberg!
Absolutely loved that her character foibles and faults made her 100% perfect psychologically to spend a long time at the South Pole. Sometimes if it's not working out, it's that you're in the wrong place...


Emily Bloor (emilybloor) | 104 comments Mod
Haha I know, the intervention was definitely the most far-fetched part of the whole satire!
I thought it was very smart how Semple really drew the comparisons with the supposed forward thinking Microsoft and the whole stay at home mother concept ... without referring to it directly she managed to open up this whole debate which gave the book a lot more depth. It was funny how she was criticized for dropping Bee off at the gate and not walking her through it! Elgie stood up for her here, and therefore it was a huge surprise when he turned on her later on. I think this said more about the manipulation of Soo-Lin when he was weak rather than his nature.... anyway, back to the question! ....

I think Bernadette was the one who developed the most and I agree with you here.... however I also feel that Elgie did too. He had his eyes opened and both had a sort of mid-life crisis, saw his wife differently, and then fell in love with her all over again. I think a lot of this was through the fact Bee had grown up, and flew the nest.. albeit prematurely!


Olivia DiGiammarino | 36 comments I'm not American, but I totally bought into the whole intervention thing. I think I like the idea of an intervention presenting itself as an opportunity to truly examine how desperate a family dynamic is to create blame. This idea that Bernadette is the "problem" and needs fixing, when really the entire dynamic surrounding the intervention was more revealing than the event itsel.f


Emily Bloor (emilybloor) | 104 comments Mod
I totally agree with you that it was certainly a great opportunity for the story to develop and the whole Bernadette storyline to blow open. I think that as a development however Bernadette was already on her own journey. She would of already found her own way to Antartica and to the point of moving forward in her life...(she had already decided to go to Antartica before the intervention) I think that it served as a way to demonstrate how, along with her disappearance, the other characters were always one step behind her.


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