Genre: fiction, humour, contemporary, mystery, chick lit, adult fiction
When fifteen-year-old Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, her fiercely intelligent but agoraphobic mother, Bernadette, throws herself into preparation for the trip. Worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Bernadette is on the brink of a meltdown. As disaster follows disaster, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces. Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together emails, invoices, and school memos to reveal the secret past that Bernadette has been hiding for decades.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette is an ingeniously entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter's love for her imperfect mother.
Where do I even begin?
First off, I've read a lot of reviews giving praise to Where'd You Go, Bernadette. These are the type of books I gravitate towards, especially when it has such a cute cover. I actually bought this book at a used book store a while ago, and left it on my shelf since. It wasn't until recently something change my course of interest when I decided to sway away from the love stories and found myself picking up this book.
I wish I read this book the moment I brought it home.
I loved everything about it! It was also more hilarious than I expected. The stereotypes here and there (esp. about Canadians hehe) made me laugh out loud on the bus. I loved the positivity of the book, and I especially loved the relationship between Bernadette and Bee. That was evident throughout the entire novel.
The writing style itself was also interesting. It was a timeline of documents and interchanging emails between various characters, collected by Bee, with the addition of her comments to fill in a few gaps. So, although you're reading from the perspective of Bee, you basically have a full story (and not a one sided version) because of all these compiled documents. Quite interesting if you ask me.
And, lastly... Bernadette. I did not expect to like her character as much I did! I think that maybe because of my background in psychology. I really like the fact that her character was a spot-on reflection of someone with an anxiety disorder. Like common... she hired a virtual assistant in Delhi just to avoiding dealing with others. How can that not be interesting to read about?
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was a great mix of quirky and mystery. I usually don't read mystery books, but I might have to pick one up soon because this novel was a real page turner.
- "That's right,' she told the girls. 'You are 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."
- "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."
- "I can pinpoint that as the single happiest moment of my life, because I realized then that Mom would always have my back. It made me feel giant. I raced back down the concrete ramp, faster than I ever had before, so fast I should have fallen, but I didn't fall, because Mom was in the world."
- "What's this?" She pulled out a card and half it away from her face. "I can't read what it says." I took it from her and read it aloud.
1. Beeber Bifocal
2. Twenty Mile House
4. Your escape
Fourteen miracles to go."