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

by Maria Semple (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,9374151,420 (3.94)431
Member:Alphawoman
Title:Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
Authors:Maria Semple (Author)
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2012), Edition: 1, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

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

  1. 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)
  2. 20
    Microserfs by Douglas Coupland (cransell)
    cransell: Two fictional looks at working at Microsoft.
  3. 20
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery 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)
  4. 10
    Young Jane Young: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin (kathleen.morrow)
    kathleen.morrow: Similar sharp, witty style of writing
  5. 10
    This Book Will Save Your Life by A. M. Homes (lizchris)
    lizchris: About the madness of west coast America
  6. 00
    Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (sturlington)
  7. 00
    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Alliebadger)
    Alliebadger: Each of these are smart, fast reads that make you read between the lines to find the humor. Great books!
  8. 00
    Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell (kiwiflowa)
  9. 11
    The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson (cransell)
    cransell: Both quirky, humorous reads.
  10. 00
    Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (lycomayflower)
  11. 00
    Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant (JenMDB)
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» See also 431 mentions

English (410)  Danish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (413)
Showing 1-5 of 410 (next | show all)
Despite being part of the Subaru parent demographic--or maybe because of it--I loved this book. ( )
  NML_dc | Aug 17, 2019 |
I read this book in its entirety one evening. This evening! Loved it. Seeing the movie Friday. ( )
  Alphawoman | Aug 15, 2019 |
wanted to see this before watching the movie, and so here I am. It was a thoroughly enjoyable light read and the author uses humor and satire well in describing the absurdities of modern life as well as our lack of tolerance. Actually the aspect of this novel I enjoyed the most may be the way the author portrays the tyranny of those without imagination ( )
  dooney | Aug 13, 2019 |
Took me nearly a third of the way in for it to click, but once it does it's wonderful. There's a lot of setup with unlikable characters but every detail pays off. And it's legitimately funny! ( )
  bulletproofheeb | Aug 12, 2019 |
Original, witty hunt for Bernadette. So fun – this entertaining, witty book starts out with the question – where are you, Bernadette? – and then races us back to the roots of her mysterious disappearance. Through a parade of emails and letters and reports lots of hints and motives and characters come to life, especially Bernadette and her daughter, Bee. This structure initially makes Bernadette a little nutty and distant. But gradually we’re able to piece together bits of her past that explain her erratic behavior. The story is funwarm, totally original. Can’t wait for the movie! Repost of review on Goodreads. ( )
  Joansf | Jul 30, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 410 (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 editionscalculated
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
First words
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."
Quotations
“Shh! She said. The waiter. He's about to take their order. She leaned back and to her left, closer,closer,closer,her body like a giraffe's neck, until her chair shot out from under her and she landed on the floor. The whole restaurant turned to look. I jumped up to help. She stood up, righted the chair, and started in again. Did you see the tattoo one of them has on the inside of his arm? It looked like a roll of tape.

I took a gulp of margarita and settled into my fallback option, which was to wait her out.

Know what one of the guys at the drive-through Starbucks has on his forearm? Bernadette said. A paper clip! It used to be so daring to get a tattoo. And now people are tattooing office supplies on their bodies. You know what I say? Of course this was rhetorical. I say, dare not to get a tattoo. She turned around again, and gasped. Oh My God. It's not just any roll of tape. It's literally Scotch tape, with the green-and-black plaid. This is too hilarious. If you're going to tattoo tape on your arm, at least make it a generic old-fashioned tape dispenser! What do you think happened? Did the Staples catalogue get delivered to the tattoo parlor that day?” 
― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Our house is old. All day and night it cracks and groans, like it's trying to get comfortable but can't
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.
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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.

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