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Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" is Gone Girl Lite.  All the twists and turns but done in a humorous way.  Someone goes missing and information as to what exactly went down is exposed in a backwards manner.  Bernadette Fox was a high powered architect until she had somewhat of a breakdown, at which point she and her husband move to Seattle where he becomes a demigod at Microsoft.

Bernadette does not suffer fools and in her mind, everyone in Seattle is foolish.  Her one spot of happiness is her daughter, Bee, an extremely gifted student who doesn't mind her mother's eccentricities.  Bernadette has alienated the other mothers at Bee's hoity toity prep school and has outsourced a friendship with a virtual assistant who does all her bidding.  Tension between Bernadette and just about everyone is high when she suddenly disappears, leaving everyone wondering if she is a criminal, crazy, or framed.

By writing the novel entirely as a compilation of emails, letters, and article excerpts, author Maria Semple reveals all the details in a unique and tantalizing way.  You feel like you are living the story as it happens, thanks to Semple's topical references.  Because the book jumps around as characters correspond with each other, reading it felt like I was catching up on an email chain at work where the next note could very well be from me.

4 out of 5 stars.

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