Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Bernadette is a stay-at-home mom to Bee, a miracle child, born with a heart defect that required multiple (like six) open heart surgeries before she was five, but now successfully navigating middle school at Galer Street Day School.  Hough Bernadette had been a world-renowned architect and recipient of a MacArthur Grant, she has become “allergic” to dealing with the other school parents (who she calls gnats) and other people to the point that she’s hired a virtual personal assistant – from India – to help her with her daily tasks.  Meanwhile her husband, Elgin Branch, is a superstar at Microsoft, but so busy with work that he doesn’t realize the depths to which Bernadette has fallen.  Things come to a climax as she is planning – with assistant Manjula’s help – a family trip to Antarctica to celebrate Bee’s perfect report card, when a feud erupts with a neighbor over blackberry bushes, one of the other gnats becomes Elgin’s personal assistant and a Galer Street Day School fundraiser goes seriously awry.  So . . . Bernadette disappears and everyone, except Bee, thinks she is dead.

This was a Hudson Library Literary Guild book/movie selection.  It was an entertaining story of a dysfunctional family finding their way back together, and a scathing look at attitudes that can be created by privilege.  The movie followed the book fairly closely and was funny and enjoyable.

Place a hold on this title.