Why did we like you, Bernadette?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple was one of our most popular choices to date. It’s rare that we all love the same book so why was it such a hit? Well, for one, it was different. Different in format – it’s a collection of notes, emails, articles, blog posts and reports that combine to tell the story of Bernadette Fox, an agoraphobic former architect who has disappeared before a family trip to Antarctica. Different in direction – we really couldn’t work out where the plot was going, and it kept us gripped. And with different characters – apart from the intriguing Bernadette, Semple writes about people in a way that takes them beyond the stereotypes they could have been. It’s funny, clever and well written with themes we could identify with: relocation; family relationships; and social behaviour. We also learnt that you can’t travel to Antarctica if you still have wisdom teeth. What more could you want from a book?

Hope to see you at our next meeting: 10.30 on Friday 11 March at The Baltic where we’ll be discussing The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout.

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