Review — Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

October 1, 2012

Dear readers, despite my long silence I have not actually disappeared. I have simply been attempting to be a good student and intern and have continued to read 8 books at once and have therefore not finished any recently.

And then Where’d You Go, Bernadette? came to the library. Or, rather, it came back to the library and it was finally my turn to read it. Given my love for epistolary novels, I pretty much knew I was going to blaze through this, so I let myself go and read with wild abandon. It was delightful.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? has something for everyone. A precocious teen, a dysfunctional marriage, a misanthrope, a family trip to Antarctica, a missing family member…. What’s not to like?!

Did I mention it’s an epistolary novel? I know they’re not for everyone, but I really like them. If they’re for you and you haven’t yet read Ella Minnow Pea, do that immediately. That book may very well have begun my love affair with language. I may have to find and re-read it now that I’ve begun thinking about it. Epistolary novels allow readers an interesting view into characters’ worlds. There’s an air of performativity to them in some cases, for example some of Audrey’s emails to various Galer Street parents and faculty, and yet some letters provide windows into the psyche like the letter Bernadette writes to her old colleague.

Now I return to my schoolwork and the other million books I’m reading. I need to just focus and read one or two of them until I finish, but I just get so excited and want to read all of them. Yes, I know that’s impractical.


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