Saturday, December 28, 2013

The way you fear a cow sitting down in the middle of the street during rush hour,that's how I fear Canadians - Bernedette in Where'd You Go,Bernadette

'Where'd You Go,Bernadette' smells like fresh flowers in spring. This delightful novel is gleefully funny with sprinkles of warmth and intelligence thrown in good measure. 
Bernadette Fox, the protagonist, seems to be anti-social - she hates Seattle, does not want to socialize with neighbors or other mothers at the PTA and says 'I don't know if community is something you do or don't believe in'. But do not be fooled by this, behind this facade is an intelligent woman who was once the most successful architect of LA.

The other important character is Bee,her fourteen year old daughter. Bee is an eighth grader who is an accomplished flutist, a mentor for younger students and a straight-As student.Most of the book is seen through Bee's eyes and is a collection of email correspondence, letters and even an emergency hospital bill!

Elgin, Bernadette's husband,  works on a high-profile secret project(yes, pop-corn popping 'Samantha') at Microsoft and is the 4th most watched person on TED talk.However there is a gulf widening between Elgin and Bernadette which culminates in the disappearance of her. The rest of the story is about Bee investigating her mother's disappearance.

Some funny quotes from the book:

Seattle - "whoever laid this city never met a four-way intersection they didn't turn into a five-way intersection' they never met a beautiful view they didn't block with a twenty-story old folks home with zero architectural integrity. that's the first time the words 'architectural' and 'integrity' have ever been used together in a discussion of Seattle'.I've never seen a city  so overrun with runaways, drug addicts and bums"

In a letter, Bernadette explains her current state "If you were wondering what I've been doing for the last twenty years, I've been resolving the conflict between public and private space in the single-family residence."

“What’s Microsoft’s mission anyway” I asked, wolfing down a piece of Costco birthday cake. It was Costco day on campus, and they were signing people up for discounted membership, using free sheet cake as enticement. No wonder I get confused and sometimes mistake the place for Utopia. 

“That's right,' she told the girls. 'You are bored. And I'm going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it's boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be.”

I highly recommend this book as for fun, humor, maybe a little about parenting, relationships and all things in between! So if want a little philosophy and lot of entertainment, Go grab it at your nearest library.

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