Wow. So this book bounced all over the place and my brain still feels fizzy because there was a lot of things going on, but boy did I love this book! I loved Bernadette, Bee, their weird dog Ice Cream, and I loved the emails and letters between two women who I would have throttled if I ever met in real life (Audrey Griffin and Soo-Lin). This book was in parts funny and sad and back to funny again. I picked this because I wanted to know what the upcoming movie starring Cate Blanchett was about. I am definitely glad that I picked this up and it wasn’t a very long book so it didn’t take me too much time to move this up on my read list.
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” follows mother and wife Bernadette Fox as well as the people who are in her life (her husband Elgie and daughter Bee) as well as an increasing unhinged neighbor (Audrey) and the new admin in her husband’s life (Soo-Lin). The book begins when Bernadette’s daughter Bee asks to go to Antarctica since her parents promised her whatever she wanted if she got straight As (or in this case all S—FYI school now is weird). Bernadette and her husband agree and we find Bernadette dreading the trip, but still hiring someone who is in India to do the day to day tasks needed for the trip as well as help Bernadette with paying bills, dealing with lawyers, and even in one case making restaurant reservations. You quickly realize that something is not right here and it’s a quick road to figuring out what is going on. I do have to say that I loved that my initial impressions of people flip flopped a lot while reading this. Except I started off being irked by Soo-Lin and ended up diskling her.
I can’t really say who is the main character in this. We get POVs from Bernadette and Bee. We get comments about Elgin from other characters. We get emails and in one case letters and police report detailing information about other people in this story. Due to that I would say that though Bernadette is the person the book revolves around for the most part, we don’t get very in depth with her.
The writing style is hard to pin down in this one because of the various ways that Semple tells this story. I still think my favorite part of this book was the police report. Good grief I laughed. Like a lot. And I thought to myself that the person in question would so be one of those women who would be memed and hashtagged to death nowadays. The flow works very well even though at first I was wondering who the heck everyone was, but you quickly get into the rhythm with this book.
The book takes place in Seattle but we also have Antarctica in play here and I loved reading about it. I went to Seattle last year and loved the place. Initially we have Bernadette hating the place after moving from LA. But in the end she makes peace with the location. I personally loved the views from the water, going out on a boat tour, and even visiting the aquarium and Space Needle. I had a few friends who went to Antarctica years ago to go scuba diving. I am still mad at myself for passing that trip up, but the thought of going into cold water just made me shudder.
The ending made me smile inside though one wonders about what’s next for Bernadette.
I read this for the “Travel” square. This book involves a journey.