Bernadette : a novel

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" reviewed by KG on June 10, 2013

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Maria Semple

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Maria Semple's _Where'd You Go, Bernadette_ is an entertaining book for anyone looking for a clever satire about a quirky family. This one stars Bernadette Fox, a genius architect turned-stay-at-home-mom whose idiosyncrasies that cause all sorts of trouble for her family. This story of love, loss, ambition, and second chances is framed by the Fox's trip to Antarctica, promised to their overachieving daughter, Bee, for her perfect grades and acceptance to a prestigious boarding school. The story is told from the perspectives of multiple characters in a variety of forms (journal entries, letters, investigative reports), and as such, I expected it to be clich├ęd and outworn. Fortunately, the witty narrative is just as quirky as the characters themselves as it develops the storyline. In surprising turns of events and tongue-in-cheek revelations about the characters and the world they (and we) live in, Semple's satirical novel had me rooting for Bernadette's and Bee's reunion in the most unlikely of places.

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