All that glitters

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What I've Read: Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Full disclosure: I read this book months ago but only got around to writing it up now.

I would rate this one a solid "definitely worth reading". Kept my attention & was sufficiently entertaining. Wasn't really sure of what the outcome was going to be until the very end & I wasn't disappointed. Before writing books, author Maria Semple was a television writer for shows like “Arrested Development” and “Mad About You”, so that was enough to hook me.

The multi-formatted “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is a hodge-podge of information, fit together to tell the story of Bernadette's questionable disappearance — e-mails, letters, F.B.I. documents, doctor emergency-room bill, etc.
Notorious Bernadette Fox is a wearer of many hats. To fellow designers & architects, she is a hero & fearless thinker and creator. To her husband and Microsoft super power, she's a quirky, opinionated equal. To fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a lunatic and misfit. Most endearingly shown, to daughter 15 year-old Bee, she is a best friend and "Mom".
Bee was born with a congenital heart defect that required multiple surgeries to correct. In spite of her medical challenges, Bee has managed to present as a very talented student & performer. When Bee requests a family trip to Antarctica as the long-promised reward for her straight-S (for "Surpasses Excellence") report cards, the family surprisingly obliges.  As readers make their way through the story, they experience the many levels of Bernadette's quirks and characteristics.

 Thanks to my book club, we always take book reviews a little further with the introduction of "Who would play these parts in the Movie?" My picks were Jim Carey for husband Elgie - lanky & skinny; and a young Alexis Biedel for Bee - smart & pensive. Coming up with a Bernadette was harder for me. Maybe a Jennifer Connelly, but more strung out. Book protagonist, Audrey could've been played by the woman who plays Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter series, Imelda Staunton - hate that B. Minor character Soo-Lin should've been done away with all together, in my opinion. Never-the-less, book club said they pictured Lucy Lu playing Soo-Lin because let's be honest, what other Asian actresses do people actually remember? I didn't picture her as a hot Asian, more of a homely foreigner. I don't know...that's food for though.
Shout out to book Club! Pink Penguin the book to understand the connection.