Where’d You Go, Bernedette – Review

Maria Semple’s book “Where You Go, Bernadette” is one of the best-selling books published in 2012. This story stretches across several continents and jumps up and down, over a period of about 20 years.

Where’d You Go Bernadette said not with the narrative of the novel in general, but through a series of emails, letters, articles, memos and other correspondence. Like Every Boy’s Got One, Meg Cabot, who tells stories via Blackberry and PDA. Games Online dan Offline

Meet Bernadette Fox, an award-winning architect who lives with her husband, Elgin Branch, the genius of a major project leader at Microsoft, and Bee Branch, their teenage daughter – also a genius – who sat in her final year leading up to Galer Street school graduation. Even though they are award-winning architects, they live in a dilapidated old house.

As Bee’s parents, who are actually Galer Street students, Bernadette did not get along well with the mothers of other students’ parents, so annoyed that she even dubbed them as “gnats” because according to her “they were annoying, but not so annoying that you really want to spend valuable energy on them. ”

The tendency to avoid people is not only for Galer Street mothers. Bernadette also avoided other people. Bernadette has agoraphobia, a phobia that is characterized by a tendency to avoid open spaces or public places and gatherings with people.

Bee Branch, who will graduate from Galer Street with very satisfying grades, and plans to continue to Choate’s exclusive boarding school, asked her parents for a “gift”, a family trip to Antarctica. The trip itself poses a problem for Bernadette who doesn’t like traveling and tends to avoid meeting with others. In fact, he did not like to have to deal with other people, for daily needs (to order food, buy clothes, pay bills) and including to prepare for the trip, Bernadette hired a virtual assistant in Delhi, India (Bernadette lives in Seattle!) to take care of everything.

The Bernadette problem isn’t just that. Audrey Griffin, a neighbor as well as a “mortal enemy” who is also a figure of Galer Street mothers (the type who is heavily involved with the community of parents, is active in school activities) always makes trouble with her (if in Audrey’s version, Bernadette is the trouble maker). The feud with Audrey became even worse when the hillside of the Bernadette landslide filled up Audrey’s house just as Audrey was hosting an important event for Galer Street students ‘parents’ meeting.

The climax is when Elgin Branch (Elgie) her husband feels Bernadette’s behavior has gone too far. Elgie suspects his wife is suffering from psychological problems, he then asks for a psychiatrist’s help.

In the chaos, Bernadette disappeared, vanished unknown jungle. Bee then tried to compile the puzzle pieces of letters, emails, articles and documents he got, with one goal: to find his mother.

Writing in the form of letters / correspondence texts of this kind is known as epistolary. The advantage of Maria Semple to compose a novel with this format is that the writer can tell from various points of view depending on who the character is at that time is speaking through letters. However, not all of this book was written in epistolary form, because the latter part of the book returns to the conventional writing format. Where’d You Go Bernadette is unique because of the eccentric nature of Bernadette itself, which is quirky, outspoken and tends to be satirical. Nevertheless satiricalism is written in a funny and entertaining way.

The setting that underlies this book is also quite extensive and diverse, ranging from Seattle, Antarctica, matters relating to architecture, to Maria Semple’s description of Microsoft in sufficient detail to make me think, if not the author’s personal experience, surely he would have done a lot of research to write this book.

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