Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I’m a little bit late to the party on this one since it published in 2012 but I’ve been wanting to read it for a while so I was excited when I was able to get ahold of it from the library.
If you’re looking for something fun, quirky, unique, different, and in its own wheelhouse, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is the perfect choice.
Bernadette’s daughter Bee wants to go on a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette is still adjusting to living the life she never wanted in Seattle, Washington and may be on the verge of a mental breakdown. And when Bernadette disappears, Bee is forced to weave together clues to where her mother has gone.
Told in the form of emails, letters, memos, transcripts, the format was ultimately the best and worst thing about this book. I am always a sucker for authors who write in a unique format other than strictly prose. I love the level of creativity. And I think I would have enjoyed this book’s format a lot more if I had read it rather than listened to the audio. Because on audio it did become a tad hard to follow.
But, that being said, the narrator, Kathleen Wilhoite, was one of the most fabulous narrators I’ve ever heard. She totally did the characters justice in voice, personality, and spirit. So even though the format made the audio version challenging, the narrator made up for it in storytelling.
At times, I did struggle to understand how all the pieces of the story fit together and flowed. And while it did come together in the end, there were portions of the book where I found myself zoning out because I wasn’t quite sure what was going on. That being said, I think if I were to read it again, I would probably appreciate it much more than the first time around.
Ultimately, although my numeric rating is on the lower side, I would still highly recommend reading this book just for the experience. It’s a gem.
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