I’d heard a lot about this book before I finally broke down and grabbed it a few weeks ago and, while it wasn’t what I expected, it was still a very good read. Bernadette Fox is an architectural genius whose two projects have gained legendary status in the architectural world. However, after one of her houses is demolished by an unruly neighbor, Bernadette forsakes architecture and goes into hiding in Seattle with her husband, Elgin, and daughter, Bee. She pretty quickly becomes reclusive and antisocial, eventually reaching the point (after a hilarious hate-fueled prank on her neighbor) that Elgin decides she needs to seek professional help. He stages an intervention but, right in the midst of the action, Bernadette disappears (and POOF! the title makes sense). Convinced that Bernadette is alive and wants to talk to her, Bee makes it her goal to figure out where her mother went.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette was billed to me as being the breakout humorous hit of the year and though I certainly enjoyed it, I didn’t find it LOL-worthy (to pretend like I’m a text speaker). It was entertaining, amusing even; it made me smirk , but I never had to worry that some simultaneous reading/soda-drinking action would result in a spit-take induced sticky spot on the kitchen floor.
What really impressed me about this story ended up not being the humor, but the characters. Despite her prickly nature toward her neighbors, Bernadette is unique and really fun to get to know. Bee has a fresh voice and even Elgin’s earnestness comes through enough to make you connect with him. The story is great, and Bernadette’s disappearance provides excellent tension as the story progresses.
Overall, if you’re looking for a book that will have you rolling around until you’re convinced you’ve split your side and need to be driven to the emergency room, then I’d say this one doesn’t quite hit the mark. But if you’re looking for a fun read, some rock-solid writing and a story to keep you interested, then bust out your wallet and go snag a copy. You won’t regret it.
Catch the next review, it should be quite a Spectacle.