As I mentioned in this post yesterday, I had started "Russian Roulette" by Michael Isikoff & David Corn as my next read... but even though it was well researched & written, I was having a hard time getting beyond the first couple of chapters. I figured perhaps I was a little fatigued by current events (do you blame me, right??) and perhaps something lighter was called for.
So I set that one aside for the time being, and picked up "Where'd You Go Bernadette" by Maria Semple. I bought it a couple of years ago, when it first came out in paperback, but it's been languishing in the TBR (to-be-read) pile. I moved it up when I heard the movie version (with Cate Blanchett as Bernadette) was being released on March 22nd.
As it turns out, the movie release date has been pushed back to August. Oh well. I had already started the book... and it was hard to put down. I breezed through it in two days flat and finished it tonight. It was laugh-out-loud funny in parts (and kleenex-worthy in others), & a good alternative to the heavier stuff in "Russian Roulette" (not to mention what's on the news every night...!).
The story is narrated by 15-year-old Bee, whose mother, Bernadette, a celebrated architect-turned-stay-at-home-mom (and an increasingly reclusive one at that) has vanished from their Seattle home two days before Christmas, just before a planned family trip to Antarctica. Through a series of emails, notes & letters, FBI reports, receipts, magazine articles and other documents, Bee reconstructs her mother's story -- and sets out to learn what happened to her.
Some people might not like the way the story unfolds, going back & forth between documents, exposing multiple points of view beyond Bee's framing narration, and taking the story back into the past. Personally, I loved it. :)
ALI note & POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: It never ceases to amaze me just often pregnancy loss (&/or infertility) turn up in the books I read. (I shouldn't be, considering how commonplace these things really are.) Bernadette had multiple miscarriages before Bee -- and Bee was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. (No wonder the woman went a little bonkers...!) I always hear that HLHS described as a "rare" heart condition -- and yet there were quite a few bereaved parents who came to our pregnancy loss support group after losing babies this way. Of course, we always heard about the babies who didn't survive, so it was nice to read about one who did, even though she was a fictional character. :)
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. (It might have been slightly higher but I've docked it a few points because of Bernadette's negative digs at Canadians. ;) )(Although she does recant somewhat near the end.) It will be interesting to see just how the story will translate to the screen, and I will look forward to seeing the movie later this summer!
This was book #7 that I have read in 2019 to date, bringing me to 29% of my 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 24 books. I am (for the moment, anyway...!) 2 books ahead of schedule to meet my goal. :)