03 May 2013
Review: Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I can't say I know exactly what drew me to this book. The cover is amazing, but the author was unknown and it was getting a lot of love from literary fiction folks, which is typically something that can go either way for me. Regardless, what I read about it sounded interesting enough, and I grabbed it from the local library when I saw it on the shelf.
Wow, was this good.
Told almost entirely in letters, emails, instant messages, and so on, this is the story of Bernadette, a woman who was, at one point, the most promising American architect going. As the book progresses, we learn little things about her that eventually result in the revelation of some mental illness. This isn't really a book about mental illness, though, or people coping with it. In fact, it's really something a lot more that I don't want to give away at all.
The format is something I generally love, and it works great here. The story itself is engrossing and has enough twists and turns going in it to keep you in that "oh, one more section" mode. The author has written for a lot of great television as well, so the pacing makes a ton of sense in that regard.
Overall, a book that initially flew under my radar but turned out to be something I'll be recommending to a lot of people in the future. A great, great read.
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