Originally published: 2012
Author: Maria Semple
Set in: San Francisco / Antarctica
Genre: Humourous Fiction
Page count: 351
Reading dates: 1-4 January 2018
Told in the format of letters, emails, diary entries and reports, Where’d You Go Bernadette, is the story of eccentric, agoraphobic, non-practising architect Bernadette Fox. Her husband is a high-flyer at Microsoft and her 15-year-old daughter Bee is about to go to boarding school. As a reward for being accepted to boarding school, Bee persuades her parents to take her on a trip to Antarctica. And as Bernadette, generally doesn’t like to leave the house, this is where things start to unravel, and during an intervention regarding her mental health she goes to the bathroom and simply disappears.
I loved the format it was written in – it was amusing and heart-warming.
This is an epistolary novel (written in the form of letters, reports, emails etc.) and it makes for a quick read and it enabled the reader through the different voices, to really get to know the characters. Other examples of epistolary novels include:
Carrie by Stephen King
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
The movie, starring Cate Blanchett as Bernadette, is due out May 2018.