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Bless Your Mechanical Heart
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Gail Carriger

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Sometimes you find the right book at the right time. It's that need fulfillment that keeps us reading. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple was the right book at the right time for me. I heard about this book at the end of Janurary on Books On the Nightstand, my favorite book recommendation podcast. I finally found time for a tiny break in required reading this weekend and picked up a copy of Where'd You Go, Bernadette at my local library. I started it last night at about 11 p.m., intending to read a chapter or two before bed. As do all great books, this one grabbed me and would not let go. The next thing I knew, I was looking up at the clock to find that it was 2 a.m.! I went back to reading it over my morning coffee and couldn't put it down until I'd finished. Reviews for this book are all over the map. Some call it humor, others mystery and still others literary fiction. In my opinion, this is a beautifully conceived and well-written family drama. This is the story of charmingly eccentric stay-at-home-Mom and celebrated former architect/building artist Bernadette Fox, her Microsoft-dev husband Elgin Brand and their under-sized genius daughter Balakrishna - Bee if you please - and their attempts to understand one another. The story is told through a variety of written materials such as emails, letters and other written documents, with narration by Bee inserted periodically. While I have not always found stories told through letters to be entirely successful, this method of storytelling works beautifully in Where'd You Go, Bernadette. This is a novel about reality, truth and perception, for what is perceived by you may not be true to me. Expect a raucous journey with a healthy dose of levity, and get ready to unearth all of this family's skeletons.