Study Guide

Soo-Lin Lee-Segal in Where'd You Go, Bernadette

By Maria Semple

Soo-Lin Lee-Segal

We all want to meet the person of our dreams, our other halves, our soulmates. Well, Soo-Lin has. She just needs to make sure he gets the memo.

A Star-Crossed Romance?

As a loyal Galer Street Gnat, Soo-Lin initially hates both Bernadette and Elgin. She hates Bernadette because everyone hates Bernadette. She hates Elgin because, well, he's married to Bernadette. 'Nuff said. What complicates matters is that Elgin is her new boss at Microsoft, which makes getting on his bad side a perilous proposition.

Soo-Lin ends up having the opposite problem. She falls for Elgin hard, comparing their "improbable love" with that of Desdemona and Othello from the titular Shakespearean play, a relationship that doesn't exactly end well, but whatever (5.12). Either way, Elgin accepts her advances and is grateful for her support during an incredibly chaotic time in his life.

More Like a Soap Opera

Neither knew this affair would land a bun in her oven. Soo-Lin gets pregnant after their first and last time making love, an experience that's less Fifty Shades of Gray and more Fifty Seconds and Asleep. We're sure there's a part of Soo-Lin that isn't mad at this turn of events, as it must seem like just another fateful chapter in their storybook romance.

After Bernadette's disappearance, along with the realization that Elgin doesn't want to be her one and only, Soo-Lin realizes that their romance was just that: a story. Looking back, she can see that she "was falling in love, not Elgie" (5.202). He certainly had feelings for her, true, but they wouldn't have gotten together if it weren't for the whole Bernadette situation. It was no grand, Shakespearean romance. It was like...CW Original-level at best.

That doesn't mean Soo-Lin is a bad person. In fact, it's to her credit that she's able to admit her own faults and failures. Hopefully, that self-awareness will serve her well once Bernadette gets home. That love triangle will definitely be CW-ready.

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