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Shortlisted for the Women's Fiction prize, in my opinion this should win by a landslide! Otherwise it will just go to Hilary Mantel again and she has won everything already!
This is a brilliant story which slowly unfolds through a variety of letters, emails, bills and the narration of young schoolgirl Bee, it's a book which will charm it's way into your heart. The epistolary form means that we get really clear insight into the minds of all the key characters in such an interesting way. The characters are vivid and, whilst you wont necessarily like all of them, you will understand all their actions and see them as real, tangible people, not simple 2 dimensional characters whom you can't believe in or care about.
Bernadette is an occupant of Seattle, wife of a Microsoft genius and mother of the very talented and intelligent Bee. To Bee she is her best friend and role model, to her husband Elgy she is a talented yet troubled wife. Before they moved to Seattle Bernadette was a very different person but since Bee was born she has found herself transported into the world of mother, leaving all her past behind her. A past where she was equally as brilliant as her talented daughter and spouse. In her younger days Bernadette won the McArthur prize for her work in architecture. Bee may love her Mum for being just Mum, but the Bernadette is suffocating in the monotony of her bleak existence. Bernadette's disappearance is both literal and metaphorical and the book looks at the way the true version of ourselves can become buried.
I urge everyone to read this, it really is the best book I have read so far this year. It will make you laugh, cry, shout at several incidents, and yearn for it to continue. Contemporary fiction at its best. At the moment it is only available in Hardback at £12.99 RRP but will be out in Paperback in July which would make it closer to £8. It is also available on Kindle.