Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

where'd you go, bernadette

Bernadette Fox has vanished.

When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces–which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades.

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I’m torn on Where’d You Go, Bernadette. It was a different type of novel. I did like it’s uniqueness, but I can’t say that I enjoyed it.

I really liked the first half of the novel. You know that Bee’s mother, Bernadette, goes missing 2 days before Christmas. The novels jumps back in time and you read about different emails, letters and memos that got sent by different characters. I loved all of the emails and just the craziness that went on with Bernadette and the parents at Bee’s school.

Then the novel goes into Bernadette’s background and catches up real time as Bee and her father try to hunt down Bernadette. I didn’t love this part. I feel that the novel lost some of it’s uniqueness that it had in the first half and the characters didn’t seem as endearing. Also the ending was open ended (which I always hate) and didn’t wrap up all of the story lines, especially with Bernadette and her husband, Elgie.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. A quick read that was different then my normal novels, but sadly didn’t hold my attention all the way through.


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