I’ve been having a hard time sitting down to write this review because I’m not quite sure what to say. I picked this one up after hearing rave reviews from several fellow Cannonballers. Admittedly, this may have unrealistically raised my expectations about the book (a habit you would think I would have broken by now, but nope). While it was a good book, it didn’t grab me like I had hoped it would.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette focuses on a family of three living in Seattle: Elgin, a Microsoft mogul, his wife Bernadette, a quirky and brilliant (but retired) architect and their daughter, Bee. Bernadette hates the local school moms (always referring to them as”gnats”) and they return the disdain. This rivalry of sorts is what drives much of the book, as well as Bernadette’s offbeat personality and the situations she gets herself into. Several events culminate into the titular event, Bernadette disappears shortly before Christmas. This novel is told mostly in epistolary form (which I normally am not a huge fan of, but it works well here) by Bee, who has compiled any and all correspondence relating to her mother and what led to her disappearance.
I did enjoy this book, Semple is a great writer and there were some truly funny and clever things going on. I think that’s my problem – I can appreciate the content and the writing, but at the end of the day it’s a book I just liked, not loved or hated, and I think those can be the hardest to write about. Bee is absolutely the best part of this novel; she’s smart and sweet and clever and any parts involving her were a joy to read. I had some issues with other plotlines in the novel, some are just downright outrageous (which I think is the intention), and others are more mundane but just as unbelievable.
I wish I had loved this book, but for me it’s going down in the “like” category. If we could give half stars, this one would be a 3.5.