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Kindle Maria Semple ↠ ↠ Where'd You Go Bernadette ePUB × Where'd You Kindle

Bernadette Fox has vanishedWhen her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades Bernadette a fiercely intelligent shut in throws herself into preparations for the trip But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted Ms Fox is on the brink of a meltdown And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands she disappears leaving her family to pick up the pieces which is exactly what Bee does weaving together an elaborate web of emails invoices and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades Where'd You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are and the power of a daughter's love for her mother


10 thoughts on “Where'd You Go Bernadette

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    A douche canoe that I probably shouldn't have dated for a couple months a few years ago once told me that I didn't like Glee because I didn't understand satire I'd like to hand him this book and say Bite me asshat This is satireI suppose that's an entirely different story The point is I loved this book It's sharp witty heartwarming and entirely entertaining Of course it came from someone involved with Arrested Development—should I expect any less?The first three fourths of this book are told in the form of email correspondence magazine articles even doctors' bills purportedly strung together by fifteen year old Bee in an attempt to tell her mother Bernadette's story Bernadette is the quintessential misunderstood genius In her thirties she became one of the few female architects to stand out from the crowd and was eventually awarded a MacArthur genius grant When project particularly near and dear to her heart was destroyed Bernadette's psyche began to fray Then her husband Elgie took a job at Microsoft and the family moved to Seattle Now they live in an abandoned home for girls and their daughter has overcome a congenital heart condition to succeed brilliantly at a charter school whose wannabe upper crust parents resent Bernadette's refusal to take part in the community Bernadette for her part is still struggling to get over the heartbreak of her previous life and has developed an agoraphobia so severe that she has hired a virtual personal assistant to take care of her daily errands remotely from India As the book begins Bee is cashing in on the promise her parents made that if she achieves straight A's she can have any gift she likes She wants a family trip to Antarctica a request that sends Bernadette's anxiety skyrocketing Meanwhile their catty neighbor Audrey is declaring war on Bernadette and her blackberry bushes Picture the biggest busybody from a Desperate Housewives style show the kind of woman who erroneously believes that her obnoxious behavior is beneficial to and appreciated by everyone else She wants to host a bruncheon I don't know if that's a word but I'm coining it now to woo legitimately upper crust parents to the charter school and Bernadette's blackberry bushes are interfering To say that Audrey has it out for Bernadette is an understatement but when the bruncheon ends in catastrophe it's the proverbial straw that breaks Bernadette Elgie concerned that his wife's anxiety and paranoia have become larger than life attempts to stage an intervention for Bernadette Unfortunately he instead discovers that Bernadette has disappeared and it's up to Bee to find herThis book gently pokes fun at tech culture and at people who desperately want to be in the next highest social strata but where Semple really excels is in her unfolding of Bernadette There are certainly aspects of the plot that require some suspension of disbelief but Bernadette is such a great character She tried keeping it together but at some point she snapped and completely folded into herself in anxiety and desperation She hates Seattle the parents at Bee's school her husband's company everything around herexcept her daughter She loves Bee desperately and wants to do anything she can for her daughter At the same time she's an artist whose stunted mental health has fried her ability and opportunity to create which has only made her anxious and depressed What else can I say? This book isn't high minded literature but it's not really trying to be It's a send up of a wacky soapish storyline that manages to stay completely engrossing—I couldn't put it down And it's touching It's ultimately about self acceptance—finding what makes you happy and learning how to balance that with the expectations of others that you can't shake off And there's this quote which I loved This is why you must love life one day you're offering up your social security number to the Russian Mafia two weeks later you're using the word calve as a verbI dare say that if you can't appreciate it then maybe you just don't get satire I kid I kid