I loved this book. According to the author, many people claim THEY are just like “Bernadette” and I feel the same way. But I am right. It is I who am like Bernadette; the author captured me entirely! Well, except for the genius part. But the road rage, the people rage, the rage over injustice and the rest of it? Totally me!
Bernadette Fox is a former recipient of a genius grant because of her innovative architectural design. Now she is a frustrated angry housewife but loving mother to Bee, 15 and gifted. Bernadette’s husband Elgin is a top-level designer at Microsoft, who puts in long hours and exercises religiously when not at work. The family lives in a crumbling former school at the top of Queen Anne Hill, a neighborhood in Seattle.
As you can glean from the title, the plotline concerns the sudden apparent disappearance of Bernadette.
Much of the fun in this mostly-epistolary satirical book comes from the setting: from the climbing blackberry vines on the hill to the status-climbing parents at Bee’s school; from the hilarious send-up of the Seattle lifestyle to the ubiquity and comic possibilities of outsourcing; and of course from the hypocritical and fickle nature of humankind.
But this delightful book isn’t all about carping; it’s also about love, and how one will literally go to the ends of the earth for it. I’d call this a “don’t miss this” book!
Evaluation: After reading this, I immediately emailed everyone I knew looking for a good book. This one is imaginative, funny, and poignant, with witty and penetrating social commentary that is right on target.
Published by Little, Brown and Company, 2012