Some items are not appearing in searches. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please search our former catalog or call our circulation department at 1-800-286-1991.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A Novel
Semple, Maria (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Item Details

When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.
Authors: Semple, Maria
Title: Where'd you go, Bernadette
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Co.,, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 330 p. ;,25 cm
Summary: When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.
Alternate Title: Where did you go, Bernadette
ISBN: 0316204277
More » MARC Display»

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Report This Apr 17, 2014
  • Cynthia_N rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Bernadette is quite the odd woman and so is this book. It is a fun and fast read.

Report This Mar 06, 2014
  • madison382 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

If you are looking for a deep book, this is not the one. I enjoyed it because it was funny and light.

Report This Feb 13, 2014
  • kisamos rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Surprised by all the hype this book got. It is mediocre writing at best and the story is just plain goofy. Its one redeeming factor is that it is about Seattle for those who value that. Otherwise, save your brain cells for something that has more to offer.

Report This Jan 24, 2014
  • jescar82 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Enjoyed this book! What a fun and quick litlte read, would recommend it.

Report This Jan 13, 2014
  • Edgarmole rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The author is a writer for TV who relocated to Seattle from LA, and I have the feeling she must have taken a cruise to Antarctica at some point. So there she sat with all her photos, diary entries, and snarky opinions about Seattle culture, thinking: is there some way I can work this all into a book? Maybe not, but it feels like that's what she did. In any case, it's a zany social satire with a gimmicky plot and some poignant moments. There are a lot of in-jokes that people unfamiliar with Seattle might not get. The style is chatty and some farcical elements are over the top, e.g. Victims Against Victimhood meetings, but the book is held together by interesting characters who suffer crises they brought on themselves despite having (mostly) good intentions. And I LOVED the blow by blow transcript of Elgin Branch's TED talk, which caught the feeling and the excitement of a TED talk exactly! Though the book speeds along like a madcap TV show, a number of serious themes are slipped in: how gifted children should be educated, the love/hate reactions people have toward geniuses (and which geniuses sometimes have toward themselves), creative work versus personal life, and the compromises and self-acceptance that make marriages work. Bernadette (Saint Bernadette was a historical figure said to have had 18 visions) is a very creative architect who did two splendid projects, then after a major professional disappointment, she goes into an Adrian Monk phase. She and her husband move into a crumbling old building that she wanted to renovate, then she has four miscarriages and finally a baby with a heart defect who lives. Bernadette appeals to the universe, saying, "I'll renounce my other sixteen visions if you'll keep my baby alive." Throughout all her depression and crazy behavior, she remains a great mom to her daughter, and that's what convinces Bee that her mom would never have chosen death; she loved her daughter too much to do that. And at the end it's Bee who succeeds in finding out where Bernadette has gone.

from NYT; Saturday night live writer

Report This Jan 01, 2014
  • calvoer rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Best summed up as silly, pointless, and mean. Reads like a pitch for a silly pointless Hollywood script, which is maybe what the author had in mind to begin with.

Report This Dec 11, 2013
  • jennywile rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Very witty book with clever story structure - there are many narrators and many points of view. It is a book that makes some fun at the expense of others, but in the end is very kind toward humanity. I love books like this that sprinkle humour and drama in skllful ways. If you like touching reads, you will most likely enjoy this books.

Report This Dec 11, 2013
  • JCLGreggW rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sharper than a drawer full of Ginsu knives, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" is one of the most pleasurable books I've read in recent memory. Semple, a former TV writer, centers this story around school-aged Bee, a student at a Seattle private school, her Microsoft exec and TED-talker dad Elgin, and brilliant but troubled mother, Bernadette. The novel is written in mostly epistolary form, so Semple gives you peeks at this strange but loving family in the margins of school bulletins, internal Microsoft emails, and gossipy texts between the parents of students. Delightfully full of twists and turns, anchored by the rollicking snark of Bernadette, this is a surprising and seriously funny novel. A must-read.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Report This Mar 17, 2014
  • jescar82 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

jescar82 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

Report This Jul 15, 2013
  • sharonus rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

There are two hairstyles here: short gray hair and long gray hair. You go into a salon asking for color, and they flap their elbows and cluck, “Oh goody, we never get to do color!”

Report This Jul 07, 2013
  • darcerama rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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.


Add a Video

Report This Mar 03, 2014
  • lilmisslibrary rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Book Trailer for Where'd You Go Bernadette

Hachette Australia Books book trailer

Maria Semple pitches "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" to Seattle book folk

Super cute book trailer of author pitching her new book to Seattle booksellers, plus Tom Skerritt!

Find it at SCCLD