Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A Novel

Book - 2012
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*Soon to be a major motion picture starring Cate Blanchett*
A whip-smart, hysterical dramedy about a family in crisis after the disappearance of its brilliant, misanthropic matriarch.
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316204279
Branch Call Number: FIC SEM
Characteristics: 330 p. ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Where did you go, Bernadette


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Jan 16, 2018

I wanted to enjoy this book based on lots of good reviews and it being on recommended reading lists, but I just couldn't get into it.

I didn't think the characters were likable at all, even B and Bernadette who I think you are supposed to root for, so it was hard for me to get interested in the story as a whole. It was written through email and letters, and at one point there was a 15 page letter that dragged so long I felt the need to skim just to get through it (even though I know it is supposed to show how crazy the character had become).

I wouldn't say it is a horrible read, but it wouldn't be my first recommendation.

Dec 05, 2017

This satire mercilessly exposes a group of characters who for various reasons are self-absorbed, occasionally mean-spirited, and sometimes surprising generous as they clash, run-away, and plot their individual courses toward seeming disaster. The exception is Bernadette's daughter, eighth grader Bee. Bee's quest to locate her mother provides heart to this improbable story. If you find the "entitled" in your life annoying, this very clever send-up may help you laugh at them.

Oct 12, 2017

First half of this book accurately and archly describes many facets of the upper-middle class lifestyle in Seattle--especially among well-heeled women who either aren't working or are not really engaged in life. The battle of the blackberries is hilarious. The second half stutters as it veers into a magic realism type of journey. Whether or not the ending is true, is up to the reader.

Apr 28, 2017

Several readers said it was humorous. I guess humor is such an individual thing, because while I found it somewhat 'light', I didn't find it that funny. It's a dry humor, if that's your thing.
The problem I had with the story is that the characters didn't have much depth. I kept waiting for someone to come through with some personal worthwhile contribution, but they fell flat in that respect.
I was also waiting for a more dramatic ending. Without spoiling the end, it's rather predictable.
As I mentioned initially, it is a 'light' book, so you don't have to think much beyond the page.

Feb 19, 2017

Funny, quirky easy read. Semple paints great caricature's of "organic-hippy-Amazon-Microsoft" Seattlites in this humorous story of a woman going through a crisis, through the eyes of her teenage daugther.

Jan 03, 2017

Loved this book! Especially the references and nods to various Seattle places. I think Seattleites will find this book more amusing than most :) Really liked the changed up style of writing as well via correspondence from the characters.

Chapel_Hill_SarahW Jan 03, 2017

Super fun read in an interesting format. I thought reading emails, documents, notes, etc. would leave me with jumpy narrative, but I found the trail of the story easy to follow and set a fast pace. I loved the quirky characters and the setting of Seattle.

Dec 14, 2016

What a good read! Is in a quirky format and almost reads as a mystery with guessing at each turn. Questioning yourself if its fact or if its be fabricated by the narrator. Page turner for sure and definitely want to read more from this author.

AL_LESLEY Nov 10, 2016

A fun and silly epistolary satire that doesn't read like a satire so don't be scared by that literary term. This can just be a light read on a hectic day or you can delve in deeper. Either way it's enjoyable. Excellent as an audio and just to read.

Nov 06, 2016

Readable, whimsical ,worthwhile. Quirky people and painful parts of life. A mother who is not all about her mothering. The family live in a big house that was a boarding school, on top of a hill in Seattle. Father is a computer geek and mother a brilliant architect who is depressed after losing her culminating design home in NYC. Layers of story from the daughter's perspective, including trips to Antarctica.

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Sep 13, 2015

SRSMITH1991 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Mar 17, 2014

jescar82 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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M_ALCOTT Jul 30, 2014

" One of the main reasons I don't like leaving the house is because I might find myself face-to-face with a Canadian. Seattle is crawling with them. You probably think, U.S./Canada, they're interchangeable because they're both filled with English-speaking, morbidly obese white people. Well Manjula, you couldn't be more mistaken."-Excerpt from an email Bernadette sent to her virtual assistant Manjula

Jul 07, 2013

Chihulys are the pigeons of Seattle. They're everywhere, and even if they don't get in your way, you can't help but build up a kind of antipathy toward them. --Page 162, paperback edition.


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