Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
I really didn’t know much about this book before I started it except that some girl’s mom goes missing. Although that is basically the plot, the story itself is so much more than that. After reading so many romantically inclined books, it was really refreshing to find a story that at it’s core is about family. A weird, quirky family, but still a family. Although there is some narration, the majority of the story is told through emails, letters, and other documents which was really interesting and helped get into the head of characters that we might have otherwise disliked or totally not understood.
Overall, I really liked our main character, Bee, who is a super smart middleschooler. Also her whole family is just so well fleshed out that I really appreciated them and their family dynamics. Although perhaps at moments they were idealized (or maybe Bee is just that perfect of a kid), there was obvious conflict and resolution and it was beautiful. The book is funny and witty although it did get a tad bit too weird and off the wall for me at one point (FBI, Russian mafia kind of weird). Probably my biggest issue with it was the (I think) random romantic (it’s not even really romantic…) twist that was added. I guess that just adds to the chaos of the mix and emphasizes how actions have consequences.
But ultimately a good book with a gripping story and a happy (yet realistically complex) ending. I think one of the best words to describe this book would be ‘quirky’. It’s just kind of odd but somehow in a good way. I would recommend this to anyone who has ever felt out of place or wanted to go to Antarctica. Also I would say it is PG-13 due to mature themes I guess.
Also apparently this is possibly being made into a movie. And the author just wrote another book which I now kind of want to read.