|Where'd You Go, Bernadette?: A Book Review|
|December 8, 2012|
Sign I really like a book: it gets read it in every room of the house because I carry it around with me and read at every opportunity. This is one of those books.
For me, there are very few books that fill me with the same level of exhilaration I get when I bang out some good writing. This is one of those books.
At first, I thought the epistolary aspect would actually get tiresome and trite like it did for me in Beautiful Ruins, but it amazingly didn't. I loved the emails and reports and files in the way I loved these crime solving kits/books my mom had where you sift through all the "evidence" (handwritten notes, grocery lists, letters, library cards, police reports, and crinkly cellophane envelopes containing hair or lipstick-smeared cigarette butts) and try to find out whodunit.
So, with that potential reader snag removed for me, I got to wholly enjoy the book. It was amazingly witty and hit home for me in so many ways. In particular, Galer Street and Choat bear similarities to Bug's preschool, and Semple's rendering of life in Seattle and at Microsoft isn't too removed from life in the SF Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
The story and mystery itself just gripped me hard. Like Bee, I had to find out more and more about Bernadette and each twist and turn left me completely enthralled, even slapping my head exclaiming, "Of course!" but most wonderfully, it was unpredictable!
I didn't mark my favorite quotes in the book (there were many), but I wholly relate to this feeling: "Hello, can I help you with something? If not please step aside because I'm about to kick the shit out of life."
For me, finishing Where'd You Go Bernadette had three side effects: I hugged Bug so hard he squawked, I wrote a review here (which I'm never moved to do), and I really want to go to Antarctica.
I don't often buy books these days, because I'm a starving writer trying to raise almost two kids, but last year I bought The Night Circus and this year, I'm buying Bernadette.