What a fun read! Like the movie Booksmart, no sooner was I finished reading this than I began to push it onto other people- you’ll love this! Its hilarious! A comedy of errors with heart! It is all of those things, and this is me pushing it onto CBR readers (those of you who haven’t read it already- I realize I’m late to the party).
Semple’s novel is a modern family story set in Seattle, centred around genius architect Bernadette Fox- Branch, her tech wizard husband Elgie, and their precocious middle school daughter, Bee. The novel is a collection of various documents (TED talk transcript; notices from a school administrator; texting chains; etc.) that have been gathered together by Bee after Bernadette disappears just prior to a planned family vacation to Antarctica. Bee, who is graduating from her middle school, asked for a trip to Antarctica as a reward for good grades, and now that the time is approaching, Bernadette’s agoraphobia is closing in. We get snippets of Bernadette’s past life as a McArthur Genius Grant-winner for her unusual architecture projects, as well as some office dynamics at Microsoft, where Elgie is a star and workaholic, as well as many sweet, small, often funny moments between Bee and her mom.
Some of the parental infighting at Bee’s school reminded me of the pithy between-chapters parental quotations that made me love Lianne Moriarty’s Big Little Lies– like Moriarty, Semple is good at mining the humour from situations that often touch on much more serious topics. Humour, heart, wit- how could it get any better?
CBR11 Bingo- I Love This