Throw back Thurs
I’ve been hearing about this book for ages and ages. And actually the reason I even had this book was because it was given to me as a gift. But, as a middle child, I refused to read the most popular book that everyone else was reading.
Thankfully I have gotten over that attitude. Also I needed a skinny-ish book to bring on the plane to Bonnaroo.
If you haven’t heard of Semple’s book, it’s about a normal nuclear family getting ready for a vacation. Except the dad is a super smart Microsoft exec, the mother is an incredibly famous architect who went off the radar and the daughter is so gifted she practically a savant.
Also the vacation is to Antarctica, the FBI gets involved, a mud slide almost gives a group of elementary children PTSD, and the mother, Bernadette, goes missing.
I know that’s rather vague but Semple wrote it in such a way that if I continue with more details I’m going to give things away. And I don’t just mean the ending. I mean all the little tid bits that ad up to help make the story such a delight to read. Reading the whole thing is like being included in lots of small inside jokes. But there is also some real social commentary.
Semple covers all sorts of topics, from mental health and social structure, to happiness, forgiveness and fate. All of it wrapped up in the complicated, and totally relate able, context of family. It’s also really funny. Like, when I found out Semple was a writer for Arrested Development among other shows, I was delighted but not surprised.
As for the writing itself, I was pleased for the most part. We got lots of different formats; emails, letters, articles, notes, school assignments, scientific documents, and ship maps. And in addition to keeping the book interesting it afforded us many different character perspectives. It took a little bit of getting used to, but Semple proved she knew what she was doing.
I didn’t love the ending. I thought it was good but with all the insanity that lead up to it, it was too simple. Which was probably part of the reason Semple ended it like she did. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. And I was not happy with Dad. ****
But over all I really liked it. As it was highly reviewed and many people included it as one of the best books of 2012, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Someday I’m going to be famous, I haven’t decided why yet, but I will be. And Buzzfeed will do that thing like ’12 reasons to love Allison Tester” and one of them will be because I’m obsessed with Arrested Development and then it will seem endearing instead of ridiculous.