where’d you go, bernadette

title: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

author: Maria Semple

genre: Fiction, family, missing persons

suggested by: Pam R.

dates read: April 15th – April 17th

review: 5 of 5 stars

summary: Bee Branch’s mother, Bernadette Fox, has disappeared.  The family was set to leave for a trip to Antarctica but she just vanishes.  Using emails, notes, faxes, and other written documentation, Bee pieces together a timeline to try to find her beloved mother.  Her father is always busy with his high-level job at Microsoft and as the timeline goes along it is easy to see how their lives are unraveling.

personal thoughts: This was such a cleverly told story.  I loved the variation in format and the different voices that constructed the lives of the characters.  It was very witty and entertaining, but also a beautiful story of a family’s love for each other.  Semple gave each character a unique personality and was able to really give them depth throughout the story.  After all the sad and somewhat dark stories I’ve been reading, this was a welcome reprieve.

favorite quotes:
“Everything else is Craftsman.  Turn-of-the-century Craftsman, beautifully restored Craftsman, reinterpretation of Craftsman, needs-some-love Craftsman, modern take on Craftsman.” p. 25

“‘You’re bored.  And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life.  You think it’s boring now?  Well, it only gets more boring.  The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.” p. 44

“My intention was never to grown old in this dreary upper-left corner of the Lower Forty-eight.” p. 123

“Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.” p. 199

“There was something unspeakably noble about their age, their scale, their lack of consciousness, their right to exist.” p. 315


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