Author: Maria Semple
Published: 2013 by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Publishing Limited
Read: December 2013
Categories: Fiction, contemporary, humour
Why it made it to the top of the pile: I kept misplacing this book (ridiculous indeed for a book with 'Where'd you go' in the title). Once I started, I couldn't put it down.
Trivia Tidbit: Maria Semple has written for the television shows Arrested Development, Ellen and Mad About You.
Full Disclosure: Purchased
Bee brings home her report card and reminds her parents that they promised she could have anything she wanted if she scored perfect grades throughout her time at Galer Street School. Although this promise was made 'to ward off further talk of a pony', Bernadette and Elgie agree to Bee's request for a family trip to Antarctica. While this appeals to Bernadette's longing for solitude, the prospects of seasickness ('it's nausea plus losing the will to live') and organising the family for the trip are overwhelming. She engages Manjula, a virtual PA from India, to help organise her life, and it is her emails to Manjula that reveal much of what Bernadette is thinking to Bee as she tries to find her mum.
Maria Semple's writing is witty, fast and often quite hilarious. It's been a while since I read a book that I'd sneak paragraphs of while sitting in the car waiting at a railway crossing or a red light. Despite, and perhaps because of, Bernadette's quirks and eccentricities, I loved sharing her world. I think Bernadette is rather marvellous - she appeals to my slightly quirky sense of humour. Maybe she'll appeal to yours.