Where’d You Go, Bernadetteby Maria Semple is not a novel with a traditional narrative. Yes, there is a narrator – Bee, an 8th grader whose mother has vanished – but she’s only a small part. The rest of the book is made up of letters, emails, faxes and even some IM chats, all winding back to who is this Bernadette, why she had become a kind of hermit, and why did she suddenly disappear, as curated by a teenager.
It’s an okay read. I feel very three out of five stars about it. Enjoyable, but not earth shattering and very Seattle (that’s why they lived after some mysterious event, and Bernadette’s husband works at Microsoft). It’d make a good beach read, less so a “sink on the couch and read because it’s cold out” read.
I was more intrigued about where the book came from. I bought it on Half.com, and knew it was a used library book. It’s even stamped as a “Readers Choice,” which makes me wonder why it was culled from the library so soon after it was published in 2012. Maybe there’s a general three out of five stars feeling about it.
(I just checked the Goodreads listing for the book – 3.5 out of five).