Title: Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Author: Maria Semple
Published: Little, Brown, & Company; August 2012
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit
Source: Amazon Kindle store (on sale for $3.99)
" 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."
I ended up giving five stars to this book not because it is great literature. I gave it five stars because it is a fun, quick read. When I found out that Semple wrote for one of my favorite TV show, Arrested Development, I could see the similarities. She is great at doing funny satires of people. I also recommend checking out her website just for the absolute cuteness.
The first half of this book is a mash-up of emails, letters, FBI reports, and other correspondence which even includes one emergency bill. All of these are written in the month or so leading up to a trip to Antartica for Bernadette, her husband Elgie, and her daughter Bee. In between these articles is a commentary from Bee, kind of like behind the scenes tidbits. The second half is Bee's search for her mother.
This book was full of stereotypes from the green computer geek to the pushy, wealthy stay at home mom. It makes fun of this social section of the Seattle area without seeming mean-spirited. I read this within a day and would love to read it again later when I want something light and easygoing.