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Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria…

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

by Maria Semple

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5242192,399 (4)292
Title:Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Authors:Maria Semple
Info:Thorndike Press (2012), Edition: Lrg, Hardcover, 487 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

  1. 20
    Microserfs by Douglas Coupland (cransell)
    cransell: Two fictional looks at working at Microsoft.
  2. 10
    This Book Will Save Your Life by A. M. Homes (lizchris)
    lizchris: About the madness of west coast America
  3. 21
    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
    The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson (cransell)
    cransell: Both quirky, humorous reads.
  5. 00
    Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (lycomayflower)

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» See also 292 mentions

English (213)  Danish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (216)
Showing 1-5 of 213 (next | show all)
I absolutely LOVED this story!!! The characters were all so REAL, and I simply adored Bernadette! Her daughter, Bee, was amazing, too. I felt like I really knew these people, and I totally wanted to hang out with Bernadette! Also, really wanted to see Straight Gate! I'll definitely read more by Maria Semple!!! ( )
  trayceetee | Nov 15, 2014 |
Curiously troubled characters in a fun book. I A modern family with modern issues, with a wonderfully improbably teenager Bee who is the true heroin of the book. Thoroughly enjoyable read, both the language and the pace. ( )
  flydodofly | Nov 8, 2014 |
A Mom with "issues", a Dad owned by his employer (Microsoft), and a precocious teenage girl form the attractive family at the centre of this romp. Calamities build up to a crisis and suddenly the Mom disappears. Apparently into thin air. Where did she go? Will we ever find her?

Funny, smart and well paced. Clever use of emails, reports, and even cleverer way they get justified later in the book. Semple makes all the voices believable and there are not so many that you'll lose track. She obviously knows Seattle well and captures its lovable strangeness perfectly.

Semple's background as a TV writer shines through. Expect a screenplay. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Oct 9, 2014 |
Great send up of Microsoft and software company culture in general. And from the the description of Seattle's culture, I ought to go there and take my Subaru. Bernadette is an architect and her husband, Elgie, a Microsoft executive. The book is written in many different formats that all fit together, and in the voice of their daughter Bee and chronicles the events that lead up to the disappearance of Bernadette. I found the first half of the book hilarious; after Bernadette disappears and we lose her sarcastic take on her life and surroundings, the book slows down for me, only buoyed by the parallel craziness of the neighbor Audrey, whose irrational hatred of Bernadette has ultimately caused the distruction of her property. Audrey's family's experience living in a hotel is another hilarious part of the novel. It doesn't surprise me that this novel was written by one of the writers of the series "Arrested Development." A refreshing departure from my usual diet of YA lit. ( )
  fromthecomfychair | Oct 3, 2014 |
I enjoyed this more than I expected to. As is often true with "funny" books, I don't think I found it as funny as some people did, but the humor never grated or fell flat. I did find it amusing, and I was very invested in the characters and sad to the leave the world of the book at the end. I also sat up late to finish the last fifty pages or so, which is a rarity for me (because, no matter how into a book I am, I will fall asleep if I'm tired--I can't help it). An impulse buy that was well worth it. ( )
  lycomayflower | Sep 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 213 (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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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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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.
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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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