Date Completed: 4/4/2017
This was a fun, light-hearted readthat really delves into the family drama of living with different types of mental illness.
Samples writing style was entertaining as she switched between narrative, letters, emails, lists, and more. This kind of a style is captivating when trying to uncover a mystery, and I think she framed the story really well for the way the characters interacted.
A family drama, there’s no real way to describe this book without giving some of the plot away, Bernadette is a kooky mother of a teenager, living at home with her husband who works at Microsoft. They live in Seattle, and the story unfolds as Semple works to explain where Bernadette left. The amount of backstory is perfect, and I truly felt the ending wrapped up all my questions.
I was able to relate to each family member in different ways. I’ve felt like Ellie when I feel like everyone around me is doing non-sensical things and are somewhat out of control. I’ve felt like Bernadette when I feel like people aren’t comprehending my motivation for doing certain things with a certain level of attention to detail. And I’ve felt like Bee when it seems those around me aren’t communicating well and I’m too young to have to interpret for others.
So in the end, I would keep this book on my shelf and recommend it to others. I think the overall theme is to think about your personal attitude and happiness, to think about what makes you happy, and to think, can you interact with others without taking things too personally?
Maria Semple is a fairly well known novelist. She’s also written for TV shows including Arrested Development. You can read more about her at her Website.