I bought the paperback edition of this book at my local independent bookstore, The Green Toad..
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.
Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
First thoughts: Obviously I had high expectations going into this book. For about a year or so I've heard and read so many great things about this book. In fact, I don't believe I heard anything negative. So I went into the book confident that I was going to love it.
What I liked: While I wouldn't classify this book as the best book I've ever read, nor would I consider it even a favorite...I really enjoyed this book, especially the first part. I loved the way the story was told and the characters and it was just one of those truly enjoyable books. In fact, I spent almost an entire day just reading this.
What I didn't like: I'm not sure if there was anything that I didn't like about this book I guess I wasn't as enthusiastic about the second half as I was the first half. I think the pacing was a bit slower and wasn't as broken up so after flying through the first half...Plus I was having trouble with dealing with some of the characters changing. I mean, it made sense...especially Bee, but still, I felt impatient through much of it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I really love when I find a book that makes me want to read it in one go...and then disappointed that I finished it so quickly.
I will definitely be reading more from Maria Semple.