Cup of Coffee Book Club discussion

Where'd You Go, Bernadette
This topic is about Where'd You Go, Bernadette
8 views
Where'd You Go, Bernadette > Do you think the structure worked well?

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Emily Bloor (emilybloor) | 104 comments Mod
Have you read any other novels that used a similar correspondence-driven narration?


message 2: by J.C. (new) - added it

J.C. Greenway (jcgreenway) | 29 comments Yes, a few books after this one, I read Helene Gestern's The People in the Photo, which is mostly made up of letters and emails sent between the main two characters. Another great read (would recommend!)
I think this style works really well because then the reader knows as much as the characters do. You have to follow their delusions and misreadings of situations along until you have more information. So I really thought Elgin and Soo-Lin were involved in quite a different way than they turned out to be. It's a good way to wrong-foot readers!
It's important for the writer to have to have a clear, distinct style for each character and I think that Semple really does - Bee's section is very different to Audrey's or Bernadette's. The voices really come across so it's a good method for telling a story with multiple viewpoints. If the writer doesn't keep that clear I think it could become a mess or difficult to read.
Thought the sections between Bernadette and the Indian call centre worker were perfect in tone and language. I'm not surprised she was fooled, are you?!


Olivia DiGiammarino | 36 comments This was the first novel that I read that used correspondence to map out the entire plot. I really enjoyed the emails that Bernadette sending to the Indian Call Centre, as well as the drama that was happening between the school moms. I think what's consistent between those emails is that the nature of the correspondence is to be validated and to vent feelings. Interesting that Bernadette had to outsource that

I definitely agree with you J.C, the voices feel so clear and that definitely helped me connect to the characters on different levels.


Emily Bloor (emilybloor) | 104 comments Mod
I did read another book which was all written in the form of letters - I've been racking my brain this past week trying to think what it was! One novel which did stand out that I've read is Master Georgie. It isn't letter form, but is written using varying narrators and as the reader it takes you a few sentences to realize that the author has changed. The tones weren't as distinct as in WYGB so it was much harder to keep up... but worth the stuggle (it's a great read!) I really like the fact that the reader has to work hard to figure out what is going on too... a great technique that keeps you a part of the story rather than just the observer!

As with the Indian call centre - I knew something was a bit off here - but would never of guessed to the extent that it blew up! That was a major twist!


back to top