Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A Novel

Book - 2012
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316204279
0316204277
9780316204262
0316204269
Branch Call Number: FICTION SEMPLE MARIA
Characteristics: 330 p. ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Where did you go, Bernadette

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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.


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e
Estha
Aug 15, 2018

Funny frantic summer-time read. Loved the many local references to Seattle and Microsoft.

A witty, funny, and at times sad tale of the members of the Branch/Fox family. The story follows the mental convolutions of a super intelligent family and their neighbors and the strange circumstances that lead everyone to become dysfunctional. A real good read.
WM

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pakipika
Jul 11, 2018

Unfortunately, this story was not what I expected, did not hold my interest, and was returned without completing.

aveizaga Jun 26, 2018

A very unique read, but one that you won't be able to stop once you start. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" is both a funny and touching story that will make for a perfect beach read.

h
Hayley_Simmons
May 24, 2018

Bernadette has disappeared just 2 days before Christmas and before a family trip to Antarctica with her husband and daughter, Bee. This is the introduction in the novel. Bee has decided to try to figure out what has happened to her mother by looking closely at communications between anyone who may have had an influence on Bernadette's disappearance and by looking at Bernadette's own communications. The rest of the novel is written as a series of e-mails, documents, notes, etc. I found this book to be quite funny. Maria Semple writes using dry humour, which is not surprising coming from someone who has written for shows such as Mad About You, Ellen, and Arrested Development. I liked Bernadette's quirky character and I liked how the book was formatted. I thought it was creative and entertaining. I was pulled into the story early on and was quite engaged in following along to find out just what happened to Bernadette. I found that I was having to force myself to put the book down and go to sleep. I loved the originality of the story and the final reveal made me so happy! My only complaint is that there were more editing errors than there should be in a published book, which is a pet peeve of mine. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fun, quirky, entertaining novel and I hope to read more by this author.

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smpowe5
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.

f
FoxLarkin
Dec 25, 2017

An original look at family dynamics-for me, a new perspective on how loss, in this case, loss of professional identity, impacted Bernadette's life and consequently the life of her only child and husband.

a
ApollosRaven
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.

k
kpelish
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.

a
Alpha_zzz
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.

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SRSMITH1991
Sep 13, 2015

SRSMITH1991 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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jescar82
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

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darcerama
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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APlazek Feb 27, 2013

Where'd You Go, Bernadette is one of the quirkiest books of the year. It is a satire of the rich and the lifestyles of Seattle and Microsoft, but is dead on funny. Told through the voice of Bernadette's teenage daughter Bee (short for Balashnika) and vairous e-mails, text messages and other communications. Hysterical!

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