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I am so glad I decided to listen to this quirky novel on audio. It was a totally unexpected combination of emails, letters, articles, captain's reports and more. I really hesitate to say too much more about it as I don't want to spoil the experience for anyone. Despite Bernadette's obvious social phobias, you are still rooting for her and her daughter Bee is a delight. I am on the fence regarding the husband. He is an odd duck. Any which way, I would recommend this for road trips!
This clever novel is like watching a mosaic being made, one color at a time. You see bits and pieces but the entire picture doesn’t come into focus until near the end. Bernadette Fox is a formerly all-star architect, depressed and somewhat insane, stranded (she feels) in the horrible city of Seattle, because her husband works at Microsoft. Their daughter Bee is a very bright 8th grader with big ambitions. Bernadette is at war with an equally crazy neighbor, Audrey. Bernadette has made one friend in the past 10 years, an on-line assistant, supposedly in India, whom she hires to do internet purchases for her.
As the book begins, we discover that Bernadette has disappeared and Bee is putting together a book of material to figure out where she went. Most of the story is told through e-mails, faxes, and letters written by the various characters, each of whom are extremely unreliable narrators.
Some of the scenes are hilarious, as you might expect from a former television writer for *Mad About You*, *Ellen*, and *Arrested Development.* Big laughs!
Unfortunately, this story was not what I expected, did not hold my interest, and was returned without completing.
An original look at family dynamics-for me, a new perspective on how loss, in this case, loss of professional identity, impacted Bernadette's life and consequently the life of her only child and husband.
A unique way to approach a book, and a fun read.
I listened to this book and loved it. It's like a hilarious sitcom. My teenage son (who usually prefers music to my books in the car) didn't want me turn this one off!
I am not sure I would have finished this novel if I had not been listening to it on audio -- what astoundingly self-absorbed and awful characters! Sure, that's partially the point; it's also not very fun to read.
Tedious characters who get more bizarre and do increasingly things as the book plods on. They'd gleefully go on a midnight walk in a lonely wood when there's an escaped maniac murderer on the loose.
Random, quirky and a lot of fun. Embrace the over-the-top storyline and enjoy the adventurous tale.
I adored this book! You simply MUST read this book if you've ever lived in Seattle, visited Seattle, or heard of Seattle.
Great read! loved the characters, the plot, the setting, the story! It was not a simplistic chic read which is what I was expecting. Much more complex and layered! Loved it!
I can definitely see how the author was a writer on Arrested Development. The story and characters are sometimes over the top, but so funny and told in such an engaging way.
Normally I hate it when a narrator tries different voices for different characters, but this one was fantastic.
Truly the best audiobook I've ever listened to and the narrator gave me chills during Bee's visit to the Christmas program. I could listen to that narrator read the phone book. The actual story is a grandiose 5! I completely fancy all the characterization throughout this novel. On top of all that's great about this novel; it is laugh out loud funny throughout!
I really enjoyed this quirky title! The story involves unique family living in Seattle. Bernadette, the Mother, is a brilliant, nationally recognized architect, who has retreated from life after a huge career disappointment. Her husband, Elgee, is consumed with his work at "MS" or Microsoft. The daughter, Bee, survived a serious childhood illness. When events in Bernadette's life spiral out of control, she disappears. The story is told from Bee's perspecative, going back through her Mother's email communications. A very unique storyline and one I'd highly recommend to others.
Great book. Read it in a day, couldn't put it down. I get why people say this is a funny book, and it certainly is at times, but to me, this book was pretty tragic. I definitely relate a little too much to the misanthropic Bernadette.
Very funny. Taking place mostly in Seattle made it especially entertaining.
Semple's satirical rendering of Seattle's elite is pretty much pure fun (and lots of funny). It's an upbeat "everything that could go wrong did" book that manages to be hopeful, too.
As rich as a Fran's Gold Bar or a finely crafted micro-brew, this comic family drama is full of adroit observations about a certain type of instantly recognizable "upper left corner" dweller (you Subaru driving, Trader Joe's shopping, Gore-tex wearing "folks" will know who you are). Read with swell panache in the audio version.