Sunday, August 12, 2012

Book review and giveaway: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A few weeks ago I received an email from a publicist that I've worked with before, asking if I'd like to review a new novel- one that is set in Seattle! I agreed, and when the book arrived, I dove right in.  Here's a bit about Where'd You Go, Bernadette (written by Maria Semple), from the publisher's website:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Not only is this book set in the city I live in, it's also set in my particular neighborhood.  So while I was reading, I could picture the people and places the author was describing.  And, even though I love Seattle, I was greatly amused by the descriptions of the people and of the idiosyncracies of this city and its residents and thought the author was spot-on. And I could relate to her annoyances in many cases- Bernadette especially is annoyed by things like Seattle's numerous five-way stop signs, and when we pulled up to one today, I burst out laughing. 

The story in Where'd You Go, Bernadette is told through emails and letters to and from Bernadette and to and from secondary characters in the book. It's a story of trying to find Bernadette- both her internal search for herself and for stability, and later a physical search by her beloved daughter to try to find her after she disappears.  The main character, Bernadette, is crazy and funny and sure of herself and totally lost all at the same time. But above all, she loves her daughter and her daughter loves her, no matter how insane and out of control things get.

This is definitely a darkly comedic book, but it's well-written and funny, with characters who grow and change in the course of the novel.  Overall, a very enjoyable weekend read.

I'm going to pass my hardcover version of this book on to one lucky reader to enjoy! Open to US mailing addresses, enter at the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.

15 comments:

latanya said...

for myself

Anita Yancey said...

I would like to win this book for myself. Thanks for having the giveaway.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Katrina said...

this book would be all for me!

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Shannon said...

I'd like to win for myself

snaugle81@gmail.com

rookieabh said...

My sister!

Dina said...

I've read it and loved it - would donate it to my local library if I won (I have an ARC).

moushka said...

I would enjoy it.

AMY said...

I'd like it for myself. cwitherstine at zoominternet dot net

Jenny said...

I would like to win this for myself. Thanks for the giveaway!

Nicole Edwards said...

for myself, i love to read!

mama2kaylabug at gmail dot com

ape2016 said...

I want it for me

ayed2016(at)aol(dot)com

Jenny18286 said...

I'd like to win this for me...I hope that's okay! :) jenniferpeaslee at gmail dot com

Nancy said...

I'd like to win this for me!

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Baby Mama said...

For me
sarahlovesvegas@Hotmail

Tami Valentine said...

I'd like to read it but I think my daughter might like it too! Thanks for the chance to win.