Wednesday, March 13, 2013

31:120 Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Book club read.  Bernadette was considered an incredibly gifted and talented artist and architect 20yrs but something happened and now she lives in a house that is falling apart in Seattle with her husband (a MS exec) and her 8th grade daughter.  She hides from people and the world as much as she can, hates everything about Seattle and most especially the other mothers at Bee's private school whom she refers to as gnats.  Her husband works long hours and seems to rarely be home but Bee is her joy in a dreary existence. At the beginning of the book, Bee announces that she will be pulling off straight A's again and for her promised reward of whatever she wants, she wants a family vacation to Antarctica.  Bernadette flips but contacts her trusty online assistant to get things moving.  In the meantime, a feud is building up between her and her neighbor (and gnat parent) about the blackberry bushes in her yard and the lack of participation at the school.  To top everything off, one of the other gnats (and her neighbor's best friend) is now her husband's assistant and is whispering things into his ears.  Can life get any worse?

A book about Bernadette finding herself as much as anything else even tho she does go physically missing at one point.  A quick read but not one I found extremely interesting or compelling.  The characters were shallow and fairly uninteresting.  I felt a little pit of pity for Bee and Bernadette but that was about it.  Also the presentation was hard to get into at first as it starts with a ton of letters and emails back and forth between several of these people so it's hard to sort out who is who when you are first starting out.  This happens again at several points in the book but at least by those times, you have a better feel for who everyone is.  In all, not a book I would have chosen and not one I would read again nor am I compelled to go reading anything else by this author.  Not horrid but simply not my taste.

Page count: 320p/8,024p ytd/152,444p lifetime

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