Overall Rating: Liked it! ⭐️
I had been eyeing up Where’d You Go Bernadette for a while when I finally bought and added it to my TBR pile in July. Closing in on the end of the month, I wanted a book that would be quick and engaging – I reached for the right one.
Who is Bernadette Fox? That depends who you ask. To the mothers at her daughter’s school, she’s a wretched pimple on their social construct. To the architectural world, she’s a visionary; but most importantly, to Bee, she’s the best mom in the world.
When Bernadette’s disdain for the people in her community finally lands her in hot water, she suddenly goes missing, and it’s up to Bee to piece together the puzzle and find out what happened to her mother.
My expectations for this book were very different than what I actually experienced. The reviews and blurbs all said the same thing – this book is funny. I was expecting a novel that, at the least, left me chuckling out loud every few chapters, but to my surprise, I found the story to be more ironic and satirical than laugh out loud funny. Now, This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book because I did. I just found it entertaining in a different way than what I was lead to expect.
The characters in this book were well developed, and their language perfectly exuded their personalities. The mothers at Bee’s school, or “gnats” as Bernadette called them, were exactly that – infuriating little pests that just couldn’t stay out of other people’s business. Bernadette, as you may be able to tell from the nickname she gave other mothers, has little patience for the public. Her agoraphobic tendencies were a major theme that read seamlessly throughout the storyline, giving the novel its satirical edge. Elgie, Bee’s father, is a workaholic who ignores his own instinct and lets the “gnats” cloud his vision. And then there’s Bee, the 8th-grade girl whose exceptional intelligence leaves her as the only one who sees things for what they really are.
I found the books conclusion to be close to perfect. I loved how it ties itself back to the way that the book is written and answered a lot of questions while serving up some justice. That being said, there was one major loose end that I wish would have been addressed but for the sake of spoilers, I won’t write exactly what that was.
So – do I recommend it? Yes! There are parts that will infuriate you countered by moments of sympathy, empowerment, and justice. For a storyline that’s a bit farfetched, it’s surprisingly relatable.
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