Review: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'd been wanting to read this for some time and finally I came up on the library wait list so I dove right in. Overall, I liked it quite a bit. 3.5 stars liked (how I wish awarding half stars were possible). The first third, well, I'll stretch that to half was my favorite while the back end lagged a bit for me and while the ending was solid and neat enough, I didn't quite feel it did its beginning justice. But it was tidy an end so I can't complain too vigorously. I did think Bernadette's was funny initially but when Elgin recounts her behaviour during the dinner they had out together and how she'd been over the past fifteen years, I began to feel that something more dangerous and clinical was going on with her than just the rantings of brilliant eccentric. I was worried for her and continued to be up to and through her "disappearance" so while I was relieved to discover her whereabouts, it seemed a tad obvious that that's where she'd gone. I give many points to the laughs I had by reading the messages between Soo-Lin and Audrey. Though their accounts of interactions were written as novelisation and didn't sound much like how people really relate their day to a friend, they were hilarious. By the end I felt more sympathetic to Audrey and I liked Soo-Lin less. Go figure. Everything about the Galer School, Ollie-O and Microsoft were funny and even when over the top, well done. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a quick, fun weekend read or as a good one for those airport waits. It made me smile, laugh, roll my eyes, sometimes made me think and moved at a good clip. Well done.

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