Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. Read by Kathleen Wilhoite.

2013 Alex Award Winner!

Bee is on the hunt for her mother. Bernadette has disappeared in Antarctica--did she commit suicide? Run away? Who can figure it out? Told through a collection of emails, faxes, letters and other documents, we trace the history of Bernadette and her connections with other Seattle-ites. Why did Bernadette stop building things after winning a prestigious architect award in LA? Why does she hate all things Canadian and hate to leave her house? This tale is funny--the private school moms, the Microsoft details, the blackberry bushes! And now I want to go to Antarctica.

Since I was just in Seattle, I loved the setting details--lots of familiar neighborhoods and landmarks.

I loved the book, but do not recommend the audiobook. I had to keep fiddling with the volume knob in my car. My car volume only goes up to 50, and I had to switch it between 25-40 at various times in the narrative. Some of the female voices were grating and very, very loud. Then Bernadette's husband would speak and the voice would be so low that I would have to turn it up. While I admire the narrator's different voices, I think the producers could have improved the volume before final production.

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