Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

bernadetteThe same could be said for me, I suppose… where’d I go? I have been reading; in fact, I have a huge backlog of reviews to write, but ya know, it’s summer, and who wants to be sitting at a computer, typing away? Not me, I guess.

Anyway, here is the first of my backlog of reviews, and it’s going to be the haziest, because I actually finished this book several weeks ago.

My initial thought was that it was similar to Big Little Lies in that it shows multiple perspectives of the same event, and how people’s perceptions of others can cloud their future actions. Told mostly through Bernadette’s daughter, 15-year-old Bee, and also some emails and other documents sent from other major and minor characters in the story, the reader is shown a glimpse of a woman (the titular Bernadette), a once-brilliant architect, who is suffering from a state of mental anguish. As the story unfolds, we find out about the incident which ended her career, and how that continues to impact her life in present day.

As seems kind of obvious in the title, Bernadette physically disappears in the novel, and her daughter puts together clues to find her. But her mother also had “disappeared” mentally prior to her running away.

Oh, did I mention how funny this book is? You wouldn’t think it,  given the subject matter I’ve described above, but the writer tells this story in an amusing fashion. I found myself getting through the material very quickly because of both the humor and the interesting way the book is structured.

I’d give this one high marks and suggest you give it a shot, especially if you read or watched Big Little Lies.

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