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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Book Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Absolutely hilarious.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel


You can tell from the writing style that Maria Semple writes for tv (Mad About You, Ellen, and Arrested Development. There’s the charm and gentle funny nature of Mad About You, the snark of Ellen, and the quirkiness and mindboggling reality checks of Arrested Development. The basics of the story are this: Bee is 15. Her mother has disappeared. Her father is cagey about the reasons. The novel is pieced together in emails, invoices and the absolutely funny school memos.

Dear Parents,
This is the clarify that Bernadette Fox, Bee Branch’s mother, was driving the vehicle that ran over the other parent’s foot. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend despite the rain.
Kindly,
Gwen Goodyear
Head of School

Some of the funniest moments, without spoiling the story, are about blackberry abatement, 5-way corners in Seattle, and parenting in a world without school grades.

I highly recommend this for people who like funny, quirky characters, non-traditional novel writing and are generally willing to laugh at themselves. Undoubtably there’s something of all of us in these characters.