This Week’s Book Report


I couldn’t attend the meeting of our couple’s book club tonight because I have yet another skin infection on my face (my recurrent skin infection odyssey is now in its 8th year).  So,  tonight’s host asked me to write a book report.  Here it is:

Why I Like “Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel” By  Maria Semple

By Melanie Rome

Dear Book Club Members:

Since I can’t be there tonight, Gary has instructed me to write 500 words on why I like “Bernadette.”  Well, I just looked at my Kindle and see that I have read only 15% of the book (thank you for that statistic, Amazon).  Given that, I believe that it will be hard to give my review, but I will try anyway so here goes:

The main character,Bernadette, is me; or at least the me I would be if I could be socially unacceptable.  For example, let’s just talk about my neighbors.  To the right of our house, if you are facing the front, is the middle-eastern Jewish family. I can say with confidence that they are in fact Jewish because: A. They build a Succoth every year and B. I am Jewish.  This allows me to be able to point out that my neighbors are of the tribe.  Only other tribe members are allowed to identify other tribe members.  We are cordial with the Middle-Eastern folks, however, our interactions over say the past 5 years, have been limited to addressing their complaints about the water from our pool overflowing into their cement back yard with a square, grassy-barren area where their Nazi dog, Bubba, poops. However, now, my husband Harry and I silently curse the new unpainted brick (as in industrial-looking) wall that surrounds an area of their yard which is visible to everyone as they turn the corner on to Porter St.  It looks like we live next door to the exercise yard of Folsom Prison.  Harry and I haven’t quite figured out what to do about this yet, but it is on our minds.

To the left, is our elderly neighbor Gladys, second wife and widow of Bill who was married to Pearl.   Bill and Pearl were the first people we met when we bought our 1950’s aching-to-be remodeled tract house back in 1982 from the out of work Jewish alcoholic.  Gladys just gets to reside in the house per Bill’s wishes as laid out in his will.  The house is owned by Bill’s trust in the names of his nutty daughter Barb and his sleazy, lying son, Randy.

And there are my gnats, at least my former gnats, the mothers at Studio City Elementary School.  The gnats at that school ganged up on me one year for taking too long to load five kids in my van.  I violated the unwritten, though well-known rule to all those parents who have ever carpooled, that each parent is allotted a certain amount of time in the “prime” pick-up spot.  I found out because one day, (I swear this happened), a mother came up to me in my car and said, “We’ve all been watching you and…..”

In just one more month’s time I will be free of gnats for the rest of my life.  I will be throwing myself a “graduation” party.  Woo-Hoo!

Finally, I look forward to reading the “TED” talk in the book.  Harry says it is fantastic.  He should know.  I went to HIS “TED” talk.

Well, Gary, the above report is 436 words.  Not quite 500, but good enough for a college admissions essay, especially since it does not exceed the word limit.

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