Thursday, June 15, 2017

Five top novels whose main characters are shut-ins

At B&N Reads Jeff Somers tagged "five shut-ins from some terrific books," including:
Bernadette Fox in Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple

Bernadette Fox is a brilliant, difficult woman living in Seattle with her brilliant, neglectful husband and her brilliant, adorable daughter Bee. Bernadette despises the city, and never leaves the house. At first, Bernadette seems to be simply quirky; she’s obviously very bright and engaged in her community, and when Bee expresses a wish to visit Antarctica, Bernadette perversely throws herself into planning the trip with a gusto slowly revealed to be slightly unhinged. Bernadette’s manic manner, which includes several hilarious exchanges with her slightly befuddled virtual assistant, whom she relies on to carry out the simplest of everyday tasks, slowly builds to the breaking point, and Bernadette stops being a shut-in after all—leading to the extended third act of the novel that inverts everything that has gone before.
Read about another entry on the list.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is among Heidi Fiedler's thirty-three books to read with your mother, the Star-Tribune's eight top funny books for dire times, Jeff Somers's five books that use cultural anthropology to brilliant effect and top five novels featuring runaway parents, Chrissie Gruebel's seven great books for people who love Modern Family, Charlotte Runcie's ten best bad mothers in literature, Joel Cunningham's seven notable epistolary novels and Chrissie Gruebel's five top books for readers inspired by Nora Ephron.

--Marshal Zeringue