Where'd You Go, Bernadette
By Maria Semple
Bernadette Fox:Bernadette is mostly the main character and is very interesting. She doesn't really like people and seems like a bad person.She is picky and nasty."See, that's why I call the mothers 'gnats'. Because they're annoying."Bernadette thinks the mothers from her daughters school are annoying and obsolete. Bernadette seems sociopathic and struggles putting herself in another's perspective. She is very judgmental and close-minded. The book also reveals She takes numerous medications when she goes to the doctor and doesn't sleep.
Bee Branch:Bernadette's daughter, she narrates it when there is no letters and she could be considered the main character. She doesn't see her mothers wrongs to significantly, she sees her as mom. Bee is 15 and very intelligent. She's compassionate and a well rounded person."Oh, man, they must have been crying so hard?" Bee is talking about the beatles in their farewell performance and she is very understanding and intrigued, her school says she loves to learn.
Elgie:He is Bee's father, an executive at microsoft. Elgie does not write many letters and the readers don't get to know him. He seems decent but works a lot and he doesn't have a good marriage.
Manjula Kapoor:This is Bernadette's "virtual assistant" in India.This was an early signs of Bernadette's craziness and stupidity. It turns out he doesn't exist and is a cover for identity theft.
Audrey:Bernadette's neighbor and a 'gnat' because she has a child in the same school. Her and Bernadette don't really like each other.
Soo-Lin Lee-Segal: Elgin's assistant that he impregnated, and also his neighbor's, Audrey, good friend
The story could be confusing with the epistolary format and changing perspectives. It was good and commentates on a lot of the family life in America. It shows the quiet unconnectedness of some families today.
Another symbol I noticed was the title in comparison to everything that happened. First is that Bernadette might've actually lost herself with the marriage or Bee and is trying to find herself asking "Where'd you go Bernadette?". Also is that Bee slowly starts to see the true Bernadette as the story progresses and thinks "Where'd you go Mom?"