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Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Maria Semple

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4653131,540 (3.95)343
Title:Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
Authors:Maria Semple
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:humor, letters, architects, families

Work details

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (2012)

Recently added bymichwellithy, MSZR, gpittfield, ErinLibsack, rlbugay, mimikyu, AWHill, LisaMorr, bsweeney04, private library
  1. 20
    Microserfs by Douglas Coupland (cransell)
    cransell: Two fictional looks at working at Microsoft.
  2. 20
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though Sweetness is more of a traditional mystery, it shares with Where'd You Go, Bernadette an endearing, precocious, and entertaining young narrator who pieces together clues from the adult world to solve a mystery. Character interactions are delightfully, humorously depicted.… (more)
  3. 31
    Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (LBV123)
    LBV123: Rifka Brunt's novel similarly traces a complicated family history and the story of a complicated mother with artistic tendencies, and features an interesting and complicated teenaged narrator. While not as openly chasing the laughs as Semple's novel, Tell the Wolves is nonetheless humorous in its depiction of family politics--and deeply touching as it deals with both love and loss.… (more)
  4. 10
    This Book Will Save Your Life by A. M. Homes (lizchris)
    lizchris: About the madness of west coast America
  5. 10
    The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson (cransell)
    cransell: Both quirky, humorous reads.
  6. 00
    Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant (JenMDB)
  7. 00
    Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell (kiwiflowa)
  8. 00
    Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (lycomayflower)

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» See also 343 mentions

English (309)  Danish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (312)
Showing 1-5 of 309 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the format - the use of mails, letters and official documents - was inventive and made for easy reading. I liked Bernadette - her mails to Manjula was very funny. I loved that the humour was irreverent and politically incorrect. I also appreciated how the author balanced the lighter side of the story with Bernadette's depression and agoraphobia. All in all a very enjoyable book! ( )
  Hanneri | Jul 19, 2016 |
I found this book quite enjoyable. I read some of the reviews and wondered if I was going to enjoy it. But I liked the way Maria started out the book with everything through correspondence between all the characters with a little narration by Bee. But then it switched to just Bee talking, which of course made sense because there was no more correspondence between her Mom, Dad and other people. Also, you understand the correspondence from the beginning once you get to the last section. It's not a matter of them speaking to each other, more of someone reading what they wrote. It's a quirky book that it you like quirkiness, you will enjoy this book. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
I loved this book! whimsical and funny with a twist! ( )
  ChrisWay | Jul 5, 2016 |
I enjoyed reading Maria Semple's "Where'd You Go, Bernadette." It was a quick, amusing read and I found her quirky characters interesting.

The story centers on Bee, the daughter of Bernadette, once a promising architect, and her dad, who is a computer whiz that works at Microsoft. Bee's mom has some issues and eventually disappears, leaving Bee to puzzle out what has happened.

The book is definitely filled with "rich people problems" -- the neighbors don't like me, I don't want to go on my trip to Antarctica and hey, it's okay to pay someone .75 an hour to do that stuff I don't want to do, right? That makes for an amusing tale, but I'm certainly glad that I don't know anyone like this is real life! The ending was a little too neat, but you kind of expect that out of this type of book anyway. Despite those issues, it was an entertaining book. ( )
  amerynth | Jul 4, 2016 |
Adolescent daughter Bee's account of the events surrounding Bernadette's disappearance (no, I didn't miss her) and a slapdash collection of emails, faxes, and letters make up the storyline of this book. The snark factor was good but it was short on humor. Or maybe I missed the inside jokes about Seattle, corporate lifestyles, and private schools. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 309 (next | show all)
The book stumbles a bit in the middle as it transitions from a scathing anti-Seattle manifesto into a family drama with comic undertones. But once the gears have finished their grinding and the shuddering subsides, Semple eases into her strongest work yet, allowing her characters to change in a way that suits the story, and not just shooting for an easy punch line or a sharply worded barb. In the end, with its big heart set on acceptance, Bernadette feels something like coming home.
added by Nickelini | editthe Stranger, Paul Constant (Aug 12, 2012)
The tightly constructed “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” is written in many formats — e-mails, letters, F.B.I. documents, correspondence with a psychiatrist and even an emergency-room bill for a run-in between Bernadette and Audrey. Yet these pieces are strung together so wittily that Ms. Semple’s storytelling is always front and center, in sharp focus. You could stop and pay attention to how apt each new format is, how rarely she repeats herself and how imaginatively she unveils every bit of information. But you would have to stop laughing first.
added by ozzer | editNY Times, Janet Maslin (Aug 6, 2012)
Semple is a TV comedy writer, and the pleasures of Where'd You Go, Bernadette are the pleasures of the best American TV: plot, wit and heart. (There are places where Semple really wants to be writing dialogue, and stretches the epistolary conceit of the novel to suit.) It's rather refreshing to find a female misunderstood genius at the heart of a book, and a mother-daughter relationship characterised by unadulterated mutual affection. If Bernadette is a monster of ego, Semple suggests, so are most people, when they're being honest. In her spiky but essentially feelgood universe, failure and self-exposure open up a rich seam of comedy, but shame can always be vanquished by love

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Maria Sempleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Broeder, LindaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chichereau, CarineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Vicq, Fearn CutlerDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayes, KeithCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leiva Morales, ÁngelesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilhoite, KathleenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Xie, JingwenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Poppy Meyer
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Monday, November 15: Galer Street School is a place where compassion, academics, and global connectitude join together to create civic-minded citizens of a sustainable and diverse planet.
The first annoying thing is when I ask Dad what he thinks happened to Mom, he always says, "What's most important is for you to understand it's not your fault."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
When Bee aces her report card she claims her reward, which is a trip to Antarctica, but her mother, Bernadette, disappears due to her intensifying allergy to Seattle and people in general, which has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands and Bee uses emails, invoices, school memos, private correspondence, and other evidence to try and understand why her mother has left.
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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