Where's You Go Bernadette; Maria Semple
Little, Brown Co / Hachette- 2013
If you haven't read this one "Bernadette" is not your average mom. She's an Ivy league graduate, former award-winning architect and now a stay-at-home-mom after numerous miscarriages. She lives with her husband Elgin, who is a big mucky muck at Microsoft. Her daughter Bee, her real name is Balakrishina because she was born blue with heart issues, is their miracle child. Bee is in the eight grade, and like her parents is super smart, having been awarded a place at the elite Choate boarding school. She'll be leaving home the next school year, but she is not the only one leaving home.
Bernadette is a mess. She has social anxiety, hates Seattle, doesn't get along with her neighbors or the other kid's moms. She even stays away from her daughter's school events, but Bee seems well adjusted and spunky despite this. However, just two days before Christmas Bee's mom disappears. Fifteen year old Bee is desperate to find her. Her father is concerned, but there seems to be less of a sense of urgency to for him to find Bernadette and bring her home.
The story is all over the place beginning with Bee's perfect report card which means that she gets her wish of a family cruise to Antarctica. Then there are emails from her mother's personal assistant in India, a woman who deals with the daily issues that Bernadette can no longer cope with. As the story progresses we learn more about Bernadette, by way of letters, newspaper stories and blog posts.
I had a hard time sympathizing with any of the characters. Bernadette seemed like a complicated individual, but she also seemed like her her own worst enemy. The writing style while comical at times, had some touching moments, but overall, this was just not my thing. I enjoyed some of the humor, yet at other times it bugged me. I'm wondering whether I might have enjoyed this one more in print because of the structure or lack or structure it seemed.
The story was narrated by Kathleen Wilhoite, who did well with multiple voices, but the voice of young Bee, at times began to irk me.