Date Published: August 14, 2012
Source: Online Library – Audiobook
A compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.
My View: I kept hearing about how funny this book was. It was years before I finally picked it up. Was it as humorous as everyone thought it to be? Not for me. The main character, Bernadette is insane. Insanely funny? Not really.
I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy this book. But going by the recommendations, not as much as I should have.
I did like the characters for their eccentricity and the plot for its uniqueness. However, as the story advanced, it started losing my attention and I just wanted to get it over with. I would say the first half is interesting while the latter is so-so.
It’s okay for a one time read. It takes more to make me laugh so perhaps I am an anomaly. You may give it a try and see if it tingles your funny bone.
Maria Semple’s first novel, This One is Mine, was set in Los Angeles, where she also wrote for television shows including Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. She escaped from Los Angeles and lives with her family in Seattle, where her second novel takes place.