Whenever I read an amazing book, I just want to text or IM everyone about it, even though they may not even like it or think that it is super weird. Where’d you go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (affiliate link) is a prime example of this for me. Maria Semple was a former writer for Arrested Development, and it shows, in the best possible way.
The majority of the book is told through stolen e-mails, documents, and other findings that Bernadette’s daughter, Bee, has pieced together into a book. While this format is definitely different and may not have worked for some, but I thought it made it move fast and reading about things Bernadette has done made me laugh and identify with her. Her emails to her Virtual Assistant help shed some light on her thought process, which started to make sense. I think I identified with Bernadette so much because I have a quirky sense of reasoning and often feel left over from even our neighbors, since we live in a neighborhood with a fancy HOA and almost everyone has kids. Most of the book takes place in Seattle, but even though I have never been there, it wasn’t hard to follow along and get the majority of the jokes or references.
The only part of the book I didn’t like is when it switched over to being narrated by Bee for the remaining of the story. I loved Bee, but it just wasn’t as entertaining as the rest of the book. I know through her voice, we find out what happened to Bernadette, but I just didn’t like it as much. However, it doesn’t ruin the overall majesty of the book.
I gave this book 5 stars on GoodReads and look forward to reading other books by Maria Semple.