Mini Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be”

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

When I’m reading, I have a real soft spot for quirky and offbeat characters. The title character in Maria Semple’s novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, definitely fits that bill. Bernadette is a middle-aged woman who goes to extremes to avoid social interactions. Once a successful architect, she is now a recluse living in a deteriorating home. Since she keeps to herself, there are many rumors about her from the catty local women. Because she finds people so annoying, her only meaningful relationship is that with her daughter, Bee. The story follows Bee as she uses letters, emails, and other forms of correspondence to track down her mother who has mysteriously disappeared before their planned family vacation to Antarctica.

I rated this book 3 out of 5 stars. The epistle form gave interesting insights into the mindset of the secondary characters while maintaining an air of mystery around Bernadette, herself. Personally, I don’t really enjoy reading a whole book through a series of letters. I also found many of the characters frustrating and quite annoying at times. Once you figure out that that is par for the course in this book then you can just enjoy the ride. As I read on, I started to enjoy the writing style and understand the author’s sense of humor more. Really, the author is poking fun at the ridiculous upper class in Seattle and showing the triviality of their every day lives. I would recommend this book for those searching for an amusing and lighthearted reading experience. Though it wasn’t particularly memorable it was a fun read. If you like books such as Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman or Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern then you will enjoy Maria Semple’s novel. Side note: Why doesn’t the book’s title have a question mark in it? It should, and this is the hill I’ll die on!

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