Book Review: “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” By Maria Semple

For my second book review for this relaunched blog I’m still not hitting the really serious literature from my undergrad and graduate school days. Perhaps it’s because I was in graduate school for so long (I have two Master’s degrees that I’m currently doing nothing with 🤦🏼‍♀️) that I’ve not been reading more classical selections. Who knows. I’m hardly a lost cause!

The book I’m reviewing this month is fun and a good read and I recommend it. So I didn’t mean to start out my review by putting it down and calling it “not classic” and less serious. I just meant that when you compare it to Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” written in Olde English, it’s a breeze to read (and that’s a good thing). In fact the beginning of “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” by Maria Semple was so fun and easy to read I would dare say it was a breath of fresh air.

I didn’t know of this book until I went to see the movie “The Favourite” and saw the trailer for the movie adaptation of this book. The movie adaptation of “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” stars Cate Blanchett and will be released August 2019. The trailer had that quirky feel I like in a movie. And it had Cate Blanchett (who I want to be when I grow up)! Here’s the trailer. I had to seek it out on YouTube to see it Closed Captioned (I promise to write about how ridiculous I find it that they barely closed captioned things in my next essay because I have A LOT to say about that topic since I’m relatively newly [within 3 years] hearing impaired).

An image that shows a split screen of the cover of the book and the movie poster.
The book was published in 2012 and will be released as a feature film starring Cate Blanchett in August 2019.

This was the first book I’ve read by Semple. She hasn’t written a lot of books as an author yet. Semple started her career as a television writer. She wrote for the original “Beverly Hills, 90210” (sad news about Luke Perry’s untimely passing today) and went on to write for “Mad About You” (for which she was Emmy-nominated), and “Arrested Development.” She published her first book in 2008 and “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” is only her second book.

The plot of “Bernadette” is that Bernadette Fox is a middle aged married mother living in Seattle. She and her husband are about to reward their 8th grader daughter with a trip to Antarctica when Bernadette suddenly goes missing. There are some interesting plot points introduced in the beginning of the book that make you want to see it through to the end. It certainly is very visual. You can tell Semple has experience telling stories in more visual mediums by how she develops and tells the story.

To conclude my review, I say that I definitely recommend finding 😉 “Bernadette.” I’ll definitely be checking out the movie as well when it’s released this summer.

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