Sunday, December 15, 2013

Where'd You Go, Bernadette : Maria Semple

Image Credit: A Little Blog Of Books


Let me give one simple piece of advice to myself. "Don't ever wait months to review a book!!" "Don't ever wait months to review a book!" "Don't ever wait months to review a book!" Ok. I think that's around 3 pieces of advice. But well, I have to shout. And scream and instil this in my little fried head. I read one of the best-sellers of the year, Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple months ago on my Kindle. I think almost more than 6 months ago while I was on holiday in Taipei. There was no way I could have written a review from there. I thought let me come back and write a review, and just like everything else this miserable year, it just drifted away. So I am trying my best to remember this book - not the book, but how I felt about, and I am failing.

So I turn to wise old Amazon for the book blurb:

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.

This was readable. I couldn't say though that I found the book overwhelmingly so. There was just a little something that stopped me from completely getting into the book. That's because I couldn't really get too much into the skin of the character Bernadette Fox. She is a woman who so hates socializing or being in touch with the outside world (having seen so many pitiful specimens of humanity in my previous office, I can understand why!), that she hires a virtual office assistant to do everything for her. Things come to a head when her daughter Bee is promised a trip to Antartica, and Bernadette decides to just fly away. Other reviewers have raved about the crafty construction of the book - it's pieced together from emails, letters and other correspondence. It's apparent that Bernadette is the sort of person you would really want to meet though. She seems witty, loyal and fiercely protective as a mother. And here's where I stop digging into the roots of my memory.

And I can only hope and pray that I finish reviewing the rest of the books that are sitting on my memory's shelf before this year ends. And I am so waiting for this year to end. Over the course of the next year, I plan to revive this blog a little bit more. Infuse it with more life. And that's kind of what I want to do with my life as well. I will be going to Dubai this coming weekend with my parents and then on my own to Nepal. Now, that's a trip I am really looking forward to - the mountains of Nepal. I will look over the mountains as this horrible year slips away. Or perhaps, it hasn't been so horrible - but it has just shown me the worst of people, and in a lot of ways they have seen the worst of me too as a result. Some good friends. Laughter. Good health. Luck. Joy. Reading. Those are the things I wish for next year. And why do I get the feeling that is asking for a lot?

Verdict: A readable book that is funny and eccentric

Rating: 2.5/5

1 comment:

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