Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Bernadette is Bee’s mom. Bernadette is a mess. She is extremely antisocial, to the point where she has outsourced her life to India. Yes, you did read that right. In order to avoid social interactions her personal assistant in India sets up her travel arrangements, chooses items to order and ships them to Bernadette’s home and even makes dinner reservations. Bernadette is not agoraphobic; she just doesn’t like talking to anyone except immediate family.
Bernadette and her family and going along with their lives when disaster strikes. Bee has gotten perfect marks all through school. That means she can have whatever she wants. And she wants a family trip to Antarctica over the Christmas break. Bernadette doesn’t think she can do it. And a bunch of things that happen prior to leaving on the trip chip away at the family. In a climactic scene Bernadette mysteriously disappears. Bee is determined to find her.
This is just a really fun book. It’s a quick read, mostly because of the interesting format. The story is revealed through emails, news articles and regular narrative. There is a reason for the strange format and it really works in telling this story. I left so much out in my summary because finding out little by little about Bernadette’s story and why she is the woman she has become is fascinating. I completely recommend this book for those looking for something fun, but not light and fluffy. This isn’t angel food cake; it is raspberry chocolate cheesecake, for the mind.