At the surface, this story could seem like your typical dysfunctional family comedy. It is told by 15-year-old Bee, and it revolves around her mother, Bernadette Fox. Highly agoraphobic and pleasantly volatile to neighbors, Bernadette proves through the unfolding of the story to have so much more to her than the stereotypical dysfunctional mother. As we peel away the layers of her marriage, her relationship with her daughter, and her previous career, we can't help but relate to how traumatic reality can be when it gets in the way of a perfect vision. You may not be able to take a trip to Antarctica to find yourself, but you can read this book if inspiration is waning. You may even get a few laughs along the way.
To her Microsoft-guru husband, Bernadette'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 her 15-year-old, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears.