Who is Bernadette Fox? She is mysterious, aloof, creative, and a mixture of many things to many people, from her Microsoft guru husband Elgin Branch, to the fellow parents at the private school her daughter Bee attends, and finally, to her daughter Bee herself. Different things to different people, some might say Bernadette is her own worst enemy.
How can one pinpoint the moments when everything went awry for her? Should we blame it on Seattle? Or perhaps on what happened to the Twenty Mile House she designed in LA. Or maybe on the numerous miscarriages she had before she gave birth to Bee. And let’s not forget Bee’s heart problems and many surgeries before she was five.
Now a precocious teen, however, Bee would tell you that she is not “sick,” and that she barely remembers any of the surgeries or illnesses that plagued her early years.
Our story is told from numerous sources, in the form of e-mails and the first person narrative voice of Bee. As the picture of who Bernadette is starts to come together, Bernadette mysteriously disappears two days before Christmas and before a planned family trip to Antarctica, and then we must not only discover who Bernadette is, but where she is.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette reads like a memoir, or a mystery novel, or a psychological profile. Just when we begin to think that Bernadette is truly mad, we learn something that changes our perception just a bit. And by the time we reach the end of her story, we can definitely say that Bernadette is one of the most interesting “people” we’ve met. For she isn’t just a character in a book: she springs to life on the pages until we are turning them with bated breath, eagerly awaiting the final verdict on who she is and what became of her. An absorbing and fun-filled five star read.