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Where'd You Go, Bernadette? DISCUSSION!

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message 1: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Pouring myself a glass of riesling, and then will be ready to begin! :)


message 2: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments I'm ready!


message 3: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments lets get it started hope someone else brought the questions


message 4: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Alright! Hi friends! So, my thought is I will post questions, and then people can reply their answers? Will see how that goes/if it works?
yeah?
:)


message 5: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments haha me too! I'm supposed to tell you that Bri got stuck in a family dinner that she couldn't get out of. But she loved the book


message 6: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
I do have questions! :) LOL thats cool, at least there are 3 of us here!


message 7: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
First, I hope you all have wine. I wish wine upon you. Mostly because we were on Clifton family vacation that was very DRY so I am pretty pleased with wine right now. Second, I really miss you guys! I wish we were doing this in person. But I digress,

OK, so getting started:

Question 1: What did you think of Bernadette’s relationship with Bee? Was she a good mother?


message 8: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments Jasmine wrote: "First, I hope you all have wine. I wish wine upon you. Mostly because we were on Clifton family vacation that was very DRY so I am pretty pleased with wine right now. Second, I really miss you guys..."

Not really an answer to the question but definitely Bee thought Bernadette was a good mother.


message 9: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
This is an interesting question to me. How do you judge that? For someone as.... neurotic as Bernadette she did love her daughter, and her daughter loved her. She lived in a children's hospital, endlessly caring for her sick baby. Does her daughter seem more mature, and more socially balanced than her mom? Yes. But overall I think Bernadettes love was real and true, regardless of whether she fits our societies standards for a "good mom".


message 10: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments I agree!!! Miss you both!

I think she was the best mother she could be. Obviously the way they were living was not ideal (recluses in a run down house) but she really wasn't capable (willing?) to change those circumstances. She obviously wanted the very best for her daughter though.


message 11: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Question 2:
What are your thoughts on Bernadette’s character? Has she become unhinged or has she always been a little crazy? What, if anything, do you think sent her over the edge? Have you ever had a moment in your own life that utterly changed you, or made you call into question your own sanity?


message 12: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments I don't necessarily agree that Bee was more mature or balanced then her mother especially towards the end of the book when Bee refuses to leave the ship, becomes obsessed with her mom being at the souvenir shop in the middle of no where. Won't speak to her father. She mimics many of the traits we see in her mother throughout the book in the last section of the book.


message 13: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Jasmine wrote: "Question 2:
What are your thoughts on Bernadette’s character? Has she become unhinged or has she always been a little crazy? What, if anything, do you think sent her over the edge? Have you ever ha..."


I find her delightfully eccentric always. However, I think (?) it seems the altercation and ultimate demise of her bifocal house project seemed to be a major breaking point for her, and living in Seattle she just slowly collapsed inside herself until life became too much.
I have lived that. Bigger past issues that fester under the surface until BAM everyday life just seems too much and craziness ensued. lol, true story ;)


message 14: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Tierney wrote: "I don't necessarily agree that Bee was more mature or balanced then her mother especially towards the end of the book when Bee refuses to leave the ship, becomes obsessed with her mom being at the ..."

True, but leading up to that time in life she seems pretty well adjusted and mature. That trip was a crisis moment, a "breaking point" of her own. It seems to me.... unfortunately...... that certain characteristics I HATE that come from my mother seem to surface in my worse times. YUCK. SO MUCH YUCK.
;)


message 15: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments Jasmine wrote: "Question 2:
What are your thoughts on Bernadette’s character? Has she become unhinged or has she always been a little crazy? What, if anything, do you think sent her over the edge? Have you ever ha..."


I have definitely called into question my own sanity before. But I think Bernadette's tipping point was coming face to face with humanities underhanded destructive nature. That would put me off people for a while too.


message 16: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Question 3:
Bernadette often behaves as if she is an outsider. Do you think she is? If so, do you think her feelings of being an outsider are self-imposed, or is she truly different from the other members of her community? Do you ever feel like an outsider?


message 17: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments Agreed. And when you're living in your own personal hell it is SO. VERY. HARD. to live. Feels impossible to even get out of bed. No wonder their house was in shambles.


message 18: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments I don't think she is an outsider. I think she doesn't necessarily want to be friends with any of the moms at Bee's school, but I wouldn't say that is a bad thing. I think she is different in that she has accomplished so much and lost so much. I almost always feel like an outsider lol


message 19: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "I don't think she is an outsider. I think she doesn't necessarily want to be friends with any of the moms at Bee's school, but I wouldn't say that is a bad thing. I think she is different in that s..."

I do too. And sometimes a little voice in the back of my mind wonders if it is self imposed, if I just don't try hard enough or don't accepts people for who they are enough. So I don't really know how to answer the question, because thats something I am still question for myself. Do we not fit in? Does anyone fit in? Or do we self impose these feelings on ourselves to explain.... well anything be it failed relationships or disappointments from other people?


message 20: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments Jasmine wrote: "Question 3:
Bernadette often behaves as if she is an outsider. Do you think she is? If so, do you think her feelings of being an outsider are self-imposed, or is she truly different from the other ..."


I think running around being negative towards everyone and everything around you is going to make it very difficult to find things that you are positive about and there by create the feeling of belonging.


message 21: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments Melissa wrote: "I don't think she is an outsider. I think she doesn't necessarily want to be friends with any of the moms at Bee's school, but I wouldn't say that is a bad thing. I think she is different in that s..."

I would absolutely agree that there is pressure in Bernadette's community that she participate in the community and she really doesn't want to.


message 22: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
OHHHHHH this is good, Question 4:
Where’d You Go, Bernadette is, at its core, a story about a woman who disappears, both literally and figuratively. Were you able to relate to the book? How and why? Do you feel Bernadette’s disappearance was unique, or do all women, in a sense, disappear into motherhood and marriage?


message 23: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments Hum...Yes I can relate and it really upsets me for many reasons. I don't want to be the woman who shuts my self away but I totally am. I not want to be a negative person about everyone but I totally am. I totally want to get lost literally, not figuratively where none of my responsibilities can touch me.
I have no interest in being lost in motherhood and marriage and I don't feel Bernadette did either I think she was lost within herself and it was motherhood and marriage essentially family that found her. Just my interpretation.


message 24: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments I am such and introvert that it is easy for me to lock myself away and not talk to anyone for long periods of time. And marriage is hard and it takes a lot of work and sometimes it's exhausting and I'm too tired to be social or leave my house. Bernadette was not trying to hide from her marriage or family, she was trying to hide from herself.


message 25: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments Melissa wrote: "I am such and introvert that it is easy for me to lock myself away and not talk to anyone for long periods of time. And marriage is hard and it takes a lot of work and sometimes it's exhausting and..."

Wish there was a "like" here, totally agree.


message 26: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
I also relate. And agree, I hate that I relate. It seems like it is so hard to somehow reach inside and find the "oomph" to be present in life as it is right now, and be present with positive energy and a sunny smile. Somehow finding fault in everything, and picking it apart and wishing that disappearing was an actual option seems so much easier.
I do feel like I get lost in motherhood and marriage sometimes. Like that is my only identity. I don't have an independent self outside of those things. For example: Lisa asked me in vacation what Ive been doing this summer and I said: "Not much. Kid stuff, family stuff. Reading." And I felt like the most boring person. Like I had no substance.


message 27: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments Beautifully said. I worry what will happen to me when I have kids. If I will be able to have an identity outside of them. If I will have the energy to be a productive member of society.


message 28: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "Beautifully said. I worry what will happen to me when I have kids. If I will be able to have an identity outside of them. If I will have the energy to be a productive member of society."

Well, I did it backwards and had kids before I even remotely had time to develop myself as an individual. So maybe when you do, you'll have it figured out more...


message 29: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Question 5:
Do you think Elgin and Bernadette can have a happy future?


message 30: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments I think that Elgin needs to face his life in a more proactive way just like Bernadette. Since I grew up on Disney of course I want them to have a happy ending but as a participant in the real world I don't really see how that is possible with a Gnat who struggles with victim complex attached to the family now.


message 31: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments Yep. Yep yep yep. I think they all need to set boundaries, with themselves, each other, and the gnat, otherwise nothing will get accomplished and they will continue to be miserable.


message 32: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
I thought Bernadettes comment about maybe forgiving him, because she didn't know who they would be without each other was interesting. Not a great start-off to reconciliation, if your only thought is along the lines of you've been together so long, how would you be apart?
If your going to mend a broken relationship you better have a lot of love and commitment. Because its hell to patch up something thats broken.


message 33: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Any other thoughts? Overall opinions? Likes/dislikes?

I loved the quote about Bernadette being a "menace to society" if she isn't creating. That resounded with me. I feel like a menace to my family if I am not creating. (Not that I am an artist, or a genius architect, but more if I don't feel like any of my creativity or mental talents are being used in any way ;))


message 34: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments I agree. She needs to forgive him because she wants to be with him rather than forgive him because she doesn't know what she would do otherwise.


message 35: by Tierney (new)

Tierney Chabot | 23 comments Jasmine wrote: "Any other thoughts? Overall opinions? Likes/dislikes?

I loved the quote about Bernadette being a "menace to society" if she isn't creating. That resounded with me. I feel like a menace to my fami..."


I have to say this book was really hard for me to read cause all that privilege with no drive for betterment was a constant presence throughout the book. The characters where so focused on themselves it was like slugging through mud in some places, "yes we know you hate Seattle, got it." However, probably part of the reason this bugged me so much is cause in reality we really are this focused on ourselves and our piece of the world. The lens of the book was to tightly trained in my direction for me to feel anything but discomfort.


message 36: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments I loved this book. Smart, funny. I loved the way it was written, with emails and journal entries. I also really, really hate happy endings. So I loved that this book didn't have a happy ending. But I was disappointed that it was kind of just "ok, I guess we'll figure it out eventually" kind of ending.


message 37: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
I loved it too. I actually got her book "This One Is Mine" at the library. Will see if I like it as well!

Anything else to add?
Either about the book, or format of discussion?
:)


message 38: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine Clifton | 51 comments Mod
Im so tired I feel like Im dying. (vacation was long and emotionally draining lol) Im going to sign off and go to bed! Let me know if you have any ideas or opinions on discussion format. Will pick next book tomorrow.
Night friends! :)
Thanks for discussing, glad we finally got to do it :)


message 39: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Wright | 39 comments Can't wait to hear all about vacation!!!


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