As someone who may have grown up watching Saturday morning cartoons in the 90's, Kathleen Wilhoite's voice may sound oddly familiar. The voice of Pepper Ann rings loudly in my mind as I listen to Kathleen's rendition of Bernadette's daughter, Bee. While it's a bit cartoony, it fits the story which at times is anything from whimsical to heartbreaking, although more the former than the later.
Bernadette is an agoraphobic, ex-architect whose Mensa smart daughter and tech genius husband live in a rundown ex-school house in Seattle, Washington. Bernadette may be anti-social, hiring a virtual assignment in India to do her online shopping and schedule dentist appointments, but her love for her daughter drives her to face her fears, ever so reluctantly, by planning (or having her virtual assistant plan) a family trip to Antarctica.
As the trip grows nearer, Bernadette grows increasingly nervous as she ponders the potential for life altering sea sickness and uncomfortable social encounters over Antarctic seas and experiences run in after disastrous run in with with other school moms resulting in bone-breaking injuries (not Bernadette's of course) and post traumatic stress for over 30 kindergarteners.
Told through a series of letters, emails, articles, post-it notes, and confidential FBI files, Bee tells the story of her not so mediocre life with Bernadette in a comical and unique way. If you're looking for a fun summer read, strap on your parka, and join Bernadette in Antarctica for a couple of hours. You won't be sorry.
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