Tuesday, September 30, 2014

zBook Club ~ Where'd You Go Bernadette

I hope you enjoyed Where'd You Go Bernadette. I certainly did! I was using every opportunity to grab my nook, and finished the book within just a few days. The book is funny, quirky, and very entertaining. The characters, inspite of their ridiculous behavior, are convinced that they are the normal ones. Hmm... 

Below, I am posting a few questions for those who have read the book. (This is my first time hosting the book club, and I am very excited! )Please leave your comments! I am also posting my answers below and will be available for a live chat Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, at 7PM PT. 

Spoiler alert ~ if you haven't finish reading the book, DO NOT read the rest of this post.  

1. What do you think about Bernadette's character? What do you think is at the root of the tension between her and the gnats? 

2. What do you think sent Bernadette over the edge? What does her behavior in Los Angeles tell us about her? Is she justified in her hatred for the gnats and Seattle? 

3. How are Audrey Griffin and Bernadette Fox more alike than they realize? Is Bernadette truly different from the other members of her community, or are her feelings of being an outsider self-imposed? Can you relate?

4. What do you think of Bernadette and Elgie marriage? Is there real love there? Can their marriage survive after everything happened? What do you think will happen to Soo-Lin?

5. Were you able to relate to the book? How and why? Bernadette disappears, both literally and figuratively. Do you feel this is unusual or do all women, in a sense, disappear into motherhood and marriage? 

Here are my answers:
Bernadette is certainly a complex character ~ she is obviously a talented artist at heart and very smart. She has a unique way of seeing and processing things and situations, and has her own way of dealing with depression she suffers. She never asks anyone for help, and, instead, hires a "virtual assistant in India" to do all her chores for her. I would never think of that! It's amazing that Bernadette did not even consider that Manjyla may be a scam artist. She was obviously willing to trust someone who is very far away and who she's never seen, but not the neighbors. I wonder if it was because of her life-changing incident with the neighbor in Los Angeles who was tormenting her. I think what he's done to her was beyond cruel.

Of course Bernadette was not justified in her hatred for the gnats. In Bernadette's mind they were wrapped up in their insignificant little world.  Meanwhile, gnats did not help by being judgmental conformists, sitting in their glass houses and throwing stones. 

Oh, fyi, the definition of gnat is - a small two-winged fly that resembles a mosquito OR a person or thing seen as tiny or insignificant, especially in comparison with something larger or more important. 

The way I see it, though, Bernadette and gnats, including Audrey, are doing the same thing - they all are quick to judge and not be sympathetic to others. 

I do think that if Elgie helped Bernadette deal with her issues after they moved to Seattle, none of the events would happen. He threw himself into work and left Bernadette deal with everything alone - he never really addressed that they lived in a house with leaking roof and blackberry growing through their child's bedroom. I do think that he should take an equal responsibility for everything that happened.  

Agh, Soo-Lin... I understand she fell in love with Elgie, but she aggressively pursued him! So, even though she firmly believed that she was the victim, she was truly the aggressor! She ends up alone with a new baby on the way. She cannot blame anyone but herself for this, though. She victimized herself, no one else did. Sad.

I love Bernadette, and I am so happy that she finally started building again. Those who are artists at heart, can never stop creating. This is their fuel. 

Wonderful book! And I am very excited to host my very first book club get-together. Only two of my friends are coming, and its a good start, I say! I am thinking of ordering a takeout just like Bernadette... I should probably wear sunglasses too!  Looking forward to the hang out ~ great friends, great food, great book, and great discussion. Fun!

Please leave your comments. Cannot wait to hear from you!
xo, Zuma A.

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