Book Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple

I heard good reviews about this book, so I used my monthly Audible credit to get it a while back.  I’ve been trying to listen to it as an audiobook for months, and H finally got me to stick to it – by telling me that I should use my time walking to and from my car to unwind, rather than to stress out about more things.  (I’ve been trying, for the record.)  I had to start from the beginning, because I sort of forgot what was happening, but this time I got far enough into the book to be unable to put it down… so to speak, since I was listening to it.  Anyway!  Brief synopsis (without spoilers), and then I’ll review.wygb

First, every other synopsis that I’ve read focuses on Bernadette, the disgraced architect who is still seen as a visionary in her field.  But the book is actually about Bee, in my opinion.  Bee Branch is Bernadette’s daughter.  She is in the 8th grade, she loves learning and is way smarter than other kids her age.  And she loves her quirky mom.  Bee’s dad and Bernadette’s husband is Elgin Branch, a visionary at Microsoft.  This book is told in many formats, but more often than not, it’s from Bee’s point of view.  And it’s pretty hilariously brilliant, I have to say.  There are crazy neighbors involved, and mothers of other children at Bee’s school, an FBI investigation, and a virtual assistant named Manjula.  And a TEDTalk.  It’s seriously great.

I absolutely loved this book.  There was so much humor, and craziness, and it made me wonder how I had never heard of author Maria Semple before.  But guess what!  I bet you know her work.  She was one of the writers for Arrested Development!  No wonder I loved the humor in this book.

If you want some fiction that’s funny and charming and heartwarming and will get you all wrapped up in a world that feels super real, this is the book for you!  If you’re not into those things… well, we probably shouldn’t be friends, because who wouldn’t be?!

Read it!  That is all.

-A.

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