This clever novel is like watching a mosaic being made, one color at a time. You see bits and pieces but the entire picture doesn’t come into focus until near the end. Bernadette Fox is a formerly all-star architect, depressed and somewhat insane, stranded (she feels) in the horrible city of Seattle, because her husband works at Microsoft. Their daughter Bee is a very bright 8th grader with big ambitions. Bernadette is at war with an equally crazy neighbor, Audrey. Bernadette has made one friend in the past 10 years, an on-line assistant, supposedly in India, whom she hires to do internet purchases for her.
As the book begins, we discover that Bernadette has disappeared and Bee is putting together a book of material to figure out where she went. Most of the story is told through e-mails, faxes, and letters written by the various characters, each of whom are extremely unreliable narrators.
Some of the scenes are hilarious, as you might expect from a former television writer for *Mad About You*, *Ellen*, and *Arrested Development.* Big laughs!