After the initial few pages I thought this book was going to be similar to the two previous books (Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty) I’ve read. “Oh no”, I groaned, “not another story about a mother trying to get on with the unpleasantness of being a parent at her child’s school”. But…I pursued and found Where’d you go Bernadette by Maria Semple quite pleasant to read. A page-turner I thought.
The story is narrated by 15 year old Bee (real name: Balakrishna) Branch who is academically gifted and lives with her parents (Bernadette Fox a retired architect genius and Elgin Branch a Microsoft geek genius) in an old decrepit musty house that used to be an old girls’ school in Seattle. I think you might call them an offbeat kinda family. The story begins with Bee acing all of her subjects and as a reward her parents allow her to go to The Antarctica at Christmas time. From there, Semple takes us to a mish mash of zany domestic and international adventures written in the forms of emails, FBI documents, medical reports and faxes (?) most of which are quite funny. Like when Elgin’s admin (whom he had a one-night fling with) was madly typing an email from a broken keyboard in Argentina where the P makes a B and the B makes a P so she’d say something like:
“I can’t pecause my labtob with all my addresses is dead”
I just cracked up!
Overall, a nice story you might want to take on a holiday. I enjoyed it!