Monday, January 19, 2015

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

Where'd You Go Bernadette? book review on misc•eleni•ous

Where'd You Go, Bernadette was apparently the must-read book of last summer. So, naturally, I put it on my reading list and didn't get around to reading it until just now, in January. (One of my favorite things about not being in college anymore is reading for fun again. I missed it so much more than I thought!)

Everyone from bloggers to magazines raved about this book, so I knew it had to be good. I started it early last week and was surprised to find I couldn't get very interested in the first part, and I put it down for a few days. I thought it was a little strangely formatted, and I couldn't really find the storyline. (To the book's credit, this was less than 10% through — I can be a little impatient sometimes...)

But I picked it up again (thank goodness) and ended up finishing it in one day. One day! Which is a fairly big deal for me, because I'm a slow reader and I tend to get antsy from sitting and concentrating on one thing too long (see aforementioned impatient comment). But it was so captivating!

Maria Semple writes the story of the elusive Bernadette Fox through a series of communications between several different characters, with some first-person, real-time interjections from her daughter, Bee. I've never read anything quite like it before, and the switched perspectives was so well-done and fun to read. You're essentially eavesdropping on everyone's private conversations, which was a much more exciting way to see the story, plus you get each person's opinions on the same situation.

The concept of Where'd You Go, Bernadette was also so unique for a story. It kept me guessing and thinking up my own versions for each situation that came up. I loved the way Semple brought back little details woven throughout the story to become more important clues in unraveling the mystery.

It's truly a brilliant book, and Semple's writing is beautiful. This was one of my favorite quotes:
"Maybe that's what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place."
Does it sound like something you'd be interested in reading? If you have read it, I'd love to hear what you thought, too! For my next book, I'm planning to join in on this book club to read another one that's been on my list for a while. What are you reading right now?

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Related: Fall reading list, coffee table books and Gone Girl.


  1. Clearly I am behind the times because I have never heard of this! You've definitely intrigued me though. I just recently read another book that was told entirely through diary entires and I also found it a bit hard to get into. I think it's because books like that don't necessarily start at the beginning? I ended up getting hooked as well though.

    Thanks for this review! One of my goals for 2015 is to read more for fun (ugggh school) and I've added this to my list!

    xx Kathryn

    1. I'm so glad I could introduce you to it! What book did you read with the diary entries? I have way too many books on my reading list right now, but I'm always up for more. My goal for 2015 is 50 books, so we'll see how that goes! Good luck with your goal too!



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