Where’d you go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
“Where’d you go…” is a well written, funny book with lots of promise. A teenage daughter, Bee, tries to locate her missing, agoraphobic mother, Bernadette, by piecing together scraps of communications that she’s somehow managed to uncover. The story is told through the various communications – emails, hospital bills, school flyers and so on. It’s a cute idea, albeit not original (Dracula is told in the same fashion, except, of course, for the school flyers.) Ultimately, the story is a bit silly, and where her mother ends up being found is even sillier. But it’s absolutely enjoyable, probably best as a summer beach read. Keep your expectations low and you’ll be fine.
I stumbled upon the news that there’s also a movie coming out. I can’t stress enough how bad I expect this movie to be. It would take some very sophisticated script writing to land on genuine humour rather than ridiculous and awkward nonsense, and Hollywood doesn’t have a great track record in this respect (I’m looking at you, Ant Man). It also hits on item #3 in the “eight signs of a flop” warning list below.
Rating: Borrow it from one of your girlfriends. Someone you know has a copy.