Breathless as reading

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel - Maria Semple

I'm out of breath and a bit disappointed. I read so many great reviews.

Bee, Bernadette and Elggie are unbelievable characters, engaging, but unbelievable. Little Bee has a tiny heart, but is able to sustain the frigid temperatures of Antactica in a parka? Her brilliant father doesn't notice that his genius wife, Bernadette is not just a little odd.

I loved reading about Bernadette's two architectural structures and the furniture she created. The private school culture was right on. Lots of helicopter parents do take on private school as if not only a responsibility ,but akin to creating world peace or maybe nuclear war.

Most of the novel was told through emails. This dates it already. It should be in texts, YouTube videos, that picture thing, etc. I found Bernadette's escape and discovery as much fun as Where's Waldo . 

I read this quickly. Partly, I wanted to get to the good part and partly because I wanted to get out. I have no experience with Seattle , Microsoft, millionaires or geniuses (except you, GRers). I didn't have cable until very recently and didn't watch Semple's Arrested Developement. Semple has an interesting idea, but this new age epistolary novel has more twists and turns, villains turned saints, computer hacks and gurus and moisture (mudslides, rain, icebergs, snow and oceans)than an Agatha Christie novel. (Mixed message, but you get my point). I don't remember any tears.

A few weeks ago my friend Steve mentioned this title and "chick lit." He likes this book. I was offended by the term. I think that this book will have a short shelf life. It's an adventure book with a clever hook, but it's not one that I would bother hanging onto.