Part mystery, part family drama Where’d You Go Bernadette? dishes up an engaging cast of quirky characters:

  • Elgin: the father, Microsoft vice-president, software developer, TED Talk star
  • Bernadette: the mother, architect, MacArthur genius, avoider of society
  • Bee: the beloved daughter and all-around good kid
  • The Gnats: the annoying, over-involved parents at Bee’s school
  • Manjula Kapoor: Bernadette’s virtual assistant working from a call center in India—or is she?

When Elgin and Bernadette agree to reward Bee with a trip to Antarctica for her perfect middle school grades, the prospect of being trapped with 150 other passengers is more than Bernadette can bear. With the “help” of her virtual assistant Manjula, Bernadette plans her escape, but an FBI investigation, a psychiatric intervention and a mudslide into her neighbor’s house foil Bernadette’s careful scheme. To Elgin and Bee, Bernadette’s disappearance is strange and baffling yet Bee never gives up hope that her mother will be found.

Fans of intelligent and resourceful teenage narrators like Flavia De Luce in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie  or unconventional missing person cases like The Family Fang will enjoy Where’d You Go Bernadette?

 

 

Where’d You Go Bernadette? Maria Semple 326 pages

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