Where do I begin? I loved, loved, loved this novel. I haven’t stopped talking about it to everyone I know. I haven’t stopped thinking about it and laughing at some of its more outlandish plot twists. Talk about inventive. Talk about funny. Maria Semple’s wit is so dry it practically makes you pass out.
Bernadette Fox is a genius architect with a small problem: she can’t function in the real world. To say she’s not a people person would be an understatement. She’s eccentric and talented and, above all, a loving mother to her daughter Bee, even if that love often takes the form of odd behavior.
She’s married to Elgie, who works at Microsoft, and the family of three lives in Seattle, which Bernadette despises. Her send-ups of Seattle private school mothers, Seattle’s many five-way intersections, Seattle’s lack of sun, Seattle’s Prius-driving recyclers, are hilarious. And that’s just the beginning.
Bernadette’s run-ins her neighbors, her trouble with the law, her seeming nervous breakdown and her subsequent disappearance all make for a madcap tale involving a trip to Antarctica that I found fascinating, not knowing much about Antarctica.
I wish I could sum up this book and give it an actual review, instead of all these random impressions, but the story defies summary. Semple, who wrote for “Arrested Development” and other TV shows, is my new funny-woman-author- fave. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.