New Beach Reads to Blaze Through
Kick back—there's a reason they call them beach reads.
Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D
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Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Little, Brown and Company
You don't have to know Seattle to get Maria Semple's broadly satirical novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette.
The title character, a middle-aged Los Angeles transplant, lives in the
Emerald City with her 15-year-old daughter, Bee, and her husband,
Elgin, a big-deal executive at (where else?) Microsoft. Once a brilliant
young architect, Bernadette now pours her energy into ranting about the
flaws of her adopted city: slow drivers, ugly hair, too many Canadians.
Eventually, Bernadette goes missing and her family uses e-mails and
other documents to try to find her. Underlying the nontraditional
narrative are insights into the cost of thwarted creativity and the
power of mother-daughter bonds, although a reader may be having too much
fun to notice.
— Karen Holt