Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Bernadette Fox was once a visionary architect who was eco-friendly before eco-friendly was popular. She won awards and her work was studied and revered by architecture students. However, when we meet Bernadette in this novel she is a borderline reclusive mother whose days are spent battling the other mothers at her daughter’s private school and letting the weeds and wild blackberry bushes slowly engulf her giant crumbling home. Bernadette’s husband a Microsoft wizard who is best known for a particularly enlightening TED talk loves his eccentric wife and Bernadette’s daughter, Bee, loves her mother and loves the cozy private life her mother has created for her. But when Bernadette starts doing things that appear a little bit more than eccentric, perhaps even crazy, they start to worry. Are Bernadette’s actions crazy or is something more going on?

When Bernadette suddenly goes missing her daughter goes on a mission to find out what really happened to her mother. This book takes us from Seattle to Los Angeles to Antarctica and only at the end and through correspondence collected by Bee do we ultimately find out what happened. This satirical novel pokes fun at Seattle, petty people, and the mundane parts of life; but it is also is a touching mother-daughter story as well as a story about what happens when a creative person stops creating. I finished this book in just a couple evenings because it was so good I didn’t want to put it down.  The author, Maria Semple, gave us a great summer read and a perfect way to spend a weekend. Where'd You Go, Bernadette was so enjoyable I couldn’t wait to share it. Read it! Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did!

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