A couple days ago my dad let me borrow the “Game of Thrones” series, not the DVD series but the books which are actually part of a series called “A song of ice and fire”, with the first book popularly titled “A Game of Thrones.” I’d been wanting to read that for a while as I’ve heard how great the TV show is, and I finally had in my possession the first four books in the series, but there was one major problem, I had just started another book that morning. So there I was, stuck with the task of deciding whether to finish my current book, or toss it aside in favor of the new book that I was much more excited about. I wasn’t raised to be a quitter, although it’s not something I’m vehemently opposed to, especially when it comes to books, but the book I had started that morning had already hooked me, so I decided to continue reading and wait a few days for “Game of Thrones.”
The book was called “Where’d you go Bernadette?”, and I’m telling the whole truth when I say that it is one of the most fast paced books I can remember reading (I finished it in two days). Told through the perspective of 8th grader, Bee Branch, and woven together with a collection of emails, articles, and memos, there was never a dull moment. Even when Bee’s school essay about Antarctica took up a couple of pages, I was completely fascinated. Without giving too much away “Where’d you go Bernadette?” is the story of a very smart daughter who as a reward for getting perfect grades gets to go on a trip to Antarctica with her family. In the days leading up to the trip, her mother, Bernadette, is slowly starting to fall apart, and her husband is too busy and distracted at work to help hold her together. Days before the trip the husband realizes the severity of Bernadette’s condition and attempts an intervention, during which his wife disappears. The remainder of the book is spent with the daughter, Bee trying to figure out what happened to her mom, and her dad trying desperately to get her to come to terms with the fact that they will never see her again.
It’s a story full of excitement, hope, pain, and heartache, and in the end you walk away feeling satisfied. “Where’d you Go Bernadette?” was written by Maria Semple, an author I had never read before, but I’m greatly looking forward to discovering her other work. I’m giving this book a rating of 5 out of 5 because of its captivating writing that hooks you from the beginning, the length of the book (300 + pages) along with the quick pace, and the excitement and adventure that runs through the pages. If you are stuck trying to find a gift for someone this holiday season, look no further. Pick up a copy of “Where’d you go Bernadette?” at your local bookstore, but before you go and give away the perfect gift, take a couple of days and read it for yourself. I promise with all my heart, you won’t be sorry.