If the cover isn’t making you smirk, this isn’t the book for you. “Where’d You Go Bernadette” was an odd novel that was comical and serious at the same time. Filled with bizarre behavior, like building an 8 foot sign to tell your neighbor not to sneak into your backyard again, the book was humorous and light while tackling a deeper plot of settling into life as an adult. Through the perspectives of Bernadette, her neighbors, and daughter Bee, the author created a seemless story about living in Seattle and trying to fit into the sheltered society there. I loved Bernadette from the first pages because she was zany and intelligent. I found myself identifying with her more and more as the story progressed, which was why I became somewhat unnerved when her husband suggested she’d a break from reality, was psychotic, and should be institutionalized. Ok, so maybe I didn’t identify with her that much.
The author did an amazing job of building a story around totally simple things that everyone would identify with. Like when Bee and Bernadette belt out songs by The Beatles in the car, or complain about the way people drive. At times, I found myself wondering how some of the inclusions were relevant, but the last few pages of the novel tied up everything in a creative way that made me realize that the book was written with purpose. Even the appointment to remove Bernadette’s wisdom teeth made an appearance in the last pages. Bee’s determination to find her moth once Bernadette ran off was touching and provided much of the momentum for that portion of the novel. Although the description of the book made it seem that Bernadette’s disappearance was the focus of the book, I disagreed. While she did disappear, to me the focus was on the life Bernadette created for herself and whether that was fulfilling.
I loved it! I wish I had read it sooner, and might read it again. This was a true gem among books because many readers could identify with the characters. I find it hard to really describe what this is about, but if you are seeking something quirky and intelligent, and slightly different, you are going to love it!