Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? - Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
Maria Semple
After a crushing loss Bernadette Fox slowly descent into madness, well if not madness at least into an extreme anxiety disorder. With a distant husband who is one of the most important men at Microsoft and a daughter itching to go to Antarctica before she leaves for boarding school in the fall Bernadette has turned to a personal assistant in India who she emails dozens of times a day to order her take out and fill her prescriptions. But if things seem weird now, it's nothing compared to what's about to happen in rarely sunny Seattle. 

First, Wikipedia Maria Semple. Isn't her career FANTASTIC? Sorry, I might be a bit jealous. 

There are two ways a story told in letters, emails and the occasional bill can go. Luckily Where'd You Go, Bernadette comes across as riveting as opposed to gimmicky. I was very impressed by how sucessful Semple had been in giving each of her characters a specific voice, which became very important as it made conversations held almost exclusivity in long emails interesting. 

While I was impressed with the development of each characters voice, I was less thrilled by the complete characters. Bernadette, Bee, and Audrey all had drastic changes, except they weren't completely believable. Bernadette and Audrey both become very self aware, albeit in different ways, and both let circumstance dictate a great deal of their lives. The rest of the characters, while having good surface presents also fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. 

Overall Where'd You Go, Bernadette was a quick, fun read. It would probably be a great read for a readathon or a long weekend.  Aside from some character development my only real issue was that my book was bound incorrectly. It went from pages 323 to 224, 225 and then ended at 326, which as you can imagine was very irritating. 

1 comment:

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

This is high on my to read list but I can't believe it was bound so badly