Friday, June 7, 2013
Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple
Barnes & Noble
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears.
It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.
A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
Well, crap. I purchased this book with my Audible credit after I read several glowing reviews from friends and other Goodreads members. It's satirical! Laugh-out-loud funny! One of the best of 2013!
I have to disagree. There were a handful of funny moments and several wry eye-rolls, but nothing that would send me into fits of laughter. Maybe it wasn't supposed to? But since it's written by the same woman who wrote for Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen, I expected awesomely snarky comments.
I didn't like any of the characters, though I did love the voice-over artist. She had a great voice and really captured the characters' personalities.
The book was decent until about halfway through. At that point, I almost quit. The only reason I kept going? I bought it, dammit!
I was quite unsatisfied with the ending: it was all wrapped up too nicely. Part of the satire? Probably, but at that point I just wanted to be done so I could move on to something else.