Book Reviews,  Fashion

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? | Book Review + Inspired Outfit

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? | www.eccentricowl.comWhere'd You Go, Bernadette? |

And we’re here for another book review! I must confess, I haven’t read 4 books yet this month as I’d hoped, but I’m on my way to finishing the 3rd one, so that’s not too bad! I created a book list page and will link to each review + outfit when I’m done reading all the books. As you can see, I still have a lot of room on my list. So if you have a favorite book (no series/trilogies, please!) let me know! (I also haven’t added all the books I want to read, but I’ll get there!) I particularly enjoy fiction, romance, and fairytales.

This week’s book is, as you can see, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and it was written by a fellow Washingtonian! I’ve seen the cover of this book all over the place for its art, and I’ve always been intrigued. So when SaraLily sent it (along with a few others) for me to read, I was pretty excited!

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? | www.eccentricowl.comWhere'd You Go, Bernadette? |

The synopsis (via Goodreads):

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.”

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? |

I didn’t know anything about this book before reading it, so when it opened up in the document-style writing of a report card and on to emails, I wasn’t too sure. I actually thought “I hope it doesn’t continue like this” because I felt that writing an entire story in the form of letters, emails, official documents, and the like would remove the personal touch or somehow make it feel like there was no focus. I thought it might be a bit incoherent to go between so many voices in a book.

But the further I got in, the better it got. And the more hilarious it got! The book’s villain, Audrey Griffin, is a holier-than-thou school mom whose plans against Bernadette catapult things into chaos. The feud between Bernadette and the “gnats of Galer street” (aka the other school moms) is expertly woven so that, from an outside perspective, it might seem like Bernadette is making rash and horrible decisions that put herself and others in (hilarious) danger. But from the inside, you see a completely different story, and as Bernadette is driven further and further into her reclusiveness you begin to see that she is brilliant, a little off-kilter, and totally lost.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? |

You also 100% feel for Bee and Bernadette, and even the husband/dad Elgin, whose decisions are very misled and a bit wrong, but mostly motivated by a concern for the good of his wife and his family. Semple does a fantastic job of digging into each character to create a story that is human, hilarious, and heartwarming. Where’d You Go, Bernadette may just be on my very short “Favorite Books” list now!

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? |  Where'd You Go, Bernadette? | www.eccentricowl.comWhere'd You Go, Bernadette? |

As for the outfit, I never would have put these colors together until I read the book; I don’t have a yellow headscarf (surprisingly, because I have a TON) but I knew I had to wear this skirt and especially these sunglasses! I had forgotten I also wanted to wear red lips like Bernadette on the cover, but in my hurry to get dressed while both kids were happy, I totally forgot.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? |

Sunglasses, vintage, gift | everything else, thrifted

I am so glad SaraLily sent me this book, and I’m excited to read the others that she sent! Have you read Where’d You Go, Bernadette? What did you think?

Happy Monday!

P.S. Asa photobombed me quite a few times. As you can see here. He also stole my sunglasses, the little stinker.

PPS – if you’re not following my Facebook page or Twitter, you should! I am trying to use them both to share more things that you won’t see here on the blog. As well as Instagram, which is basically overrun with my kids. 😉


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  • Ayu Yudha

    this is my currently-reading. and i looove Bernadette, she’s so cynical about her own life but that’s why i like her.. and you have a gorgeous outfit for this book.. love it! 🙂

  • SaraLily

    I KNEW IT! I saw the sunglasses and a glimpse of your outfit in the Asa photo bomb pics and thought “Hmmm this reminds me of one of the books I sent…” YES! I loved this book as well. It was so well written. You look marrrrrrrvelous, darling. Your outfit is sooooo Bernadette. 😉

    • Eccentric Owl

      Haha, as soon as I saw the cover I HAD to wear these sunglasses!

      Seriously, this book! I feel like my review didn’t do it justice, but I LOVED it. I want to read it again and again, which rarely happens with books!

  • Lyndsey M

    Ive never heard of this book before, but the way you described it made me excited! It definitely sounds like a good read. I also love the book-inspired-outfit and I think you did a great job even though you didn’t have the exact things you wanted! I have 300 neck scarves and 5 head scarves. Ive got a decent size noggin though, so they’re a bit of a challenge for me to find ;P

  • Emily

    This book sounds great! If you haven’t read it, I would recommend PopCo by Scarlett Thomas – it has some similarities (a sort of mystery that gets unraveled as the plot goes on, and some secondary material thrown in like the “documents” of this book). It’s an unusual novel but one that I really, deeply enjoyed and found that it really stayed with me after I read it – in a good way.