Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Released: August 14, 2012
Bernadette Fox has vanished.
When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces--which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where'd You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are and the power of a daughter's love for her mother.
I’m generally not the kind of person who struggles to put down a book. Even if I really like it, I’m generally fine with putting it down and coming back to it later. This was a book the made me miss my bus-stops, my bed-times, and almost a flight. It had me hooked from the first couple of pages and never let me go.
The story is told through various forms of correspondence between the characters, as well as occasional interjections by the main character, Bee. This is one of those stories that keeps changing directions, subtly but forcefully. Once I think I’ve become comfortable with it and know where it’s going, it takes a turn and throws me off. In the best possible way.
Telling the story through correspondence makes it very personal, and you have to judge characters based on how they want to appear to others, and how others perceive them. It becomes very immersing, very interesting, and there is always a great deal of anticipation of what will be revealed next.
This is a really good book. It’s a very quick read, a great story, and a really effective way of telling it.