By Maria Semple
Starred Review from Publisher's Weekly
The story opens with Bea's 8th grade report card. She got straight A's...actually straight S's for "Surpasses Excellence" in her preppy Seattle girls' school. As a reward for her good grades, Bea's parents, Bernadette and Elgin, have promised her whatever she wants. She chooses a family trip to Antarctica at Christmas time.
Bernadette Fox is a wife and mother with huge anxiety issues. It had become so bad that she hired an offshore virtual assistant to handle her every day interactions in order to avoid contact with the outside world. Bernadette was a world-renowned architect 20 years before who (after facing several personal tragedies) went into hiding.
Her husband Elgin is a high-level Microsoft engineer who worries about her sanity after many "mishaps". And then, Bernadette disappears....
The author wrote for the television series "Mad About You" and "Arrested Development". You can sense her wry sense of humor in this book.
Bernadette pokes fun at helicopter Moms, the city of Seattle, Canadians, yuppies and environmentalists. It is written from Bernadette's point of view, but it is really Bea's story. The reader will have you laughing out loud in this hilarious & heartwarming story.