Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple What a delight it was to read this book. I read this just after reading a more serious and long book and was looking for something a bit satirical to lighten my reading mood, and it definitely delivered.

I don't like to give too much away when reviewing books because I think that future reader's appreciate a book better when they make discoveries of their own. With that in mind, this book is not only told from the view of a 15-year-old girl named Bee, but also through the various characters through letters, documents, emails, etc. I particularly liked this style in that you not only see one opinion of how the story takes place, but you can see how the other character's behave in their own words and can form your own opinions of them.

This story takes place in Seattle where Bee lives in a rickety old house with her parents. Her dad works for Microsoft and her mother seems to have given up on her distinguished career as an architect. Her mother, Bernadette, is seen as either a recluse who is going mad and needs to be admitted or as someone who is too pretentious to mix with the "gnats" of Seattle. At some point, it seems that the world around Bernadette begins to unravel and she vanishes in the night from her bathroom during the middle of a practice intervention that she happens to surprisingly walk in on. So, the rest of the book is devoted to figuring out where she is, how life carries on without her, and how the characters relate to her nostalgic absence, in which the bonds between characters either strengthen or fall apart.

I found this book to be funny and quite enjoyable.