jeez, y’all. it seems to be taking me forever to get through a book lately — if i get through it at all. i still blame the months and months i struggled with The Goldfinch for throwing me off. i had been on pretty much a 3-4 week/book clip for over a year when that debacle kind of put me off reading anything for a while. lately, i’ve also been spending so much more time reading blogs that by the time i am ready for a few pre-bed pages, i rarely get in more than 3 or 4. that means . . . well, that’s a lot of math for this moment, but for sure it means a lot fewer notches in the nightstand leg over a year.
anyhow, i definitely wasn’t sure about this one when i started it back in November (?? ugh, i’ve got to get on top of this), but it had been on the book-club-i’ve-been-shamed-out-of’s list and i liked the title and cover art, so i went for it. no, i’m never ashamed to judge a book by its cover.
it was a delightful mishmash of quirky characters and interesting relationships, with a good dose of mystery and wit. Bernadette Branch is an L.A. transplant to Seattle, Microsoft wife and mother to teenage daughter, Bee. She has never fit in with the private school mothers — which is just fine with her — and has become agoraphobic to the point of hiring a personal assistant in India to take care of everyday tasks for her. most of the book leads up to a trip to Antarctica, which is Bee’s reward for getting good grades. but of course Bernadette is terrified to go, so you know something weird is going to happen. it does and there are a lot of funny scenes along the way, involving the private school moms, an international crime ring, the FBI, a mental hospital, digs at Seattle and Bernadette’s own neurosis. the story is told through a mix of regular prose and dialogue, but much — especially of the trying to find Bernadette part — is told through various emails and letters, which can sometimes be distracting but in this case, i think is done quite well.
i won’t tell you where Bernadette goes, or whether she’s found. neither will the The New York Times, but their review is good for some more detail. i will tell you this is a fun, easy read that i really enjoyed. hopefully, it’s gotten me over the book-reading hump! would love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read it!