Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.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 ...

Details Where'd You Go, Bernadette

TitleWhere'd You Go, Bernadette
Release DateAug 14th, 2012
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
GenreFiction, Humor, Contemporary, Mystery, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

Reviews Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  • Jessica
    Read this for a second time for a new book club, and I loved it just as much as I did the first time.A douche canoe that I (probably shouldn't have) dated for a couple months a few years ago once told me that I didn't like Glee because I didn't understand satire. I'd like to hand him this book and say, "Suck on it, asshat. This is satire."I suppose that's an entirely different story. The point is, I loved this book. It's sharp, witty, heartwarmin...
  • Patrick
    Just found this book in my luggage recently, I read it while traveling a while back, and never got around to recording it here. (This happens a lot...)I'm hesitant to assign a star rating here (more hesitant than usual) Not only did I read this months ago, but the genre isn't one that I spend a lot of time reading.But where *do* I rank it? I know it didn't anger or disappoint me in any way (I'd remember that) but neither did I feel the need to ru...
  • Travis Fortney
    What we have here is a satirical epistolary novel about a bunch of whiny one percenters in Seattle. Ms. Semple is sending up Seattle elites, which here seem to be typified by Bernadette's husband Elgie, a granola eating, public transport using, bike riding, Microsoft employee with a genius IQ. She also sets her sights on the students and parents of a Montessori-style preparatory school. I don't feel a particular need to explain what happens, beca...
  • Ashley
    Well, let this be a lesson to those who would open their mouths and spew venom into the world. I once wrote very publicly and loudly on this here Goodreads that I could never love a satire -- don't even remember which book I was reviewing*. The point is, this book has made me eat my words. This fucking book, man. I loved it. It's my cheese, my oreo cookie, my soft blanket on a cold winter's night, my let's pack everything up and head out for an a...
  • Raeleen Lemay
    For the first time ever, I'm going with the Goodreads-appointed rating system. This book was simply "OK", therefore I am giving it 2 stars. I didn't hate it or anything, but it really didn't do anything for me.I didn't find it funny (or all that quirky to be quite honest), and the characters were all a bit bland. I was also disappointed that what I had originally thought was the whole point of the book (Bernadette disappearing right before a trip...
  • Richard Derus
    Pearl Ruled2017 UPDATE If you can even imagine such a thing, Richard Linklater is filming this craptastic insult to the word "chick lit"...in PITTSBURGH!!! No, no one'll notice it's not Seattle. It will be in theaters Mother's Day 2018, which is yet another belt in the chops to women everywhere.Rating: 1.6* of five (p97)The Publisher Says: Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fello...
  • Fabian
    Simply put: READ THIS, or you WILL have a supremely LAME life. I solemnly swear...Yup, this is a total classic--a brilliant novel that the critics have hailed as impossibly LOL fuhu-nny. But I simply must add on to this (and this is why this has been the best novel I've read since "The Art of Fielding"): truth is, it will make you cry. Bawl-like-a-baby cry... over the disappearance of this unique individual. Finding her is the main objective in t...
  • Debra
    Laugh out loud comedy about a family in crisis. Bernadette is a quirky,opinionated, likable character. Bernadette disappears one day after her 15 year old daughter aces her report card and wants to claim her promised award: a family trip to Antarctica. The only problem is that Bernadette is agoraphobic and uses her assistant in India to run most of her errands. My best advice: READ THIS BOOK! It's hilarious, funny and a welcome relief to books th...
  • Lormac
    There is a new genre of contemporary fiction in which believability is thrown out the window in favor of wacky plot machinations, but which is not satire because the emotions of the characters are too real. (See also, "This Is Where I Leave You.")When her daughter was born with a heart condition which gave her skin a blueish hue, Bernadette Fox named her daughter, Balakrishna Branch, because the Indian God, Krishna, is blue and the name means "ch...
  • Steve
    I figure my best hope of getting more readers than the Cubs have victories is to mention straight away Maria Semple’s bona fides as a satirist. So here it is: she wrote for Arrested Development. Her talent for skewering plays out well in book form, too, as it turns out. Bernadette, the protagonist, is creative, whip-smart, and now that her daughter, Bee, is past some pretty serious childhood health issues, able to devote herself almost entirely...
  • Annet
    People don't go to Antarctica, they're called to Antarctica...I can't quite make my mind up about this funny/weird/sad book all in one. The beginning of the book made me laugh at almost every page, mainly because of the weird 'mum' and her 'matchless' statements and behavior; it also struck me this story is actually a bit sad. Then the whole correspondence between the ladies Soo-Lin and Audrey Griffin, out of this world funny at times, priceless!...
  • Rich
    This book about Seattle "Subaru Parents" describes my life so chillingly accurately that I am now absolved of writing my own book about their Portland-counterparts' bat-shit antics. Favorites: "Suddenly, Audrey Griffin started running toward the car all stiff and out of rhythm. You could just tell she hadn't run in about ten years." -22. "Perhaps because we both went to prep school and Ivy League universities ourselves, we did not fetishize them ...
  • Paige
    Ugh, this book. You see that one star rating? It earned the single star by being mildly engrossing. I know I usually use the word "engrossing" in a positive way, to convey that a book was compelling and interesting, fascinating and exciting. Here I mean that it was just, somehow, able to hold my attention. Not even interest, really, just attention. Somehow. I don't know how. Well I guess this is how: it was entertaining in a way, and it definitel...
  • Lola
    Wow, okay. This is not the book I expected to read. The blurb makes it seem like it’s a ‘‘laugh-out-loud-worthy’’ mystery novel about a mother who disappears and a daughter who moves mountains to find her mom.Sure, that does happen… in the last 3/4 of the book. Before that, it’s around 250 pages of random, (sometimes) unnecessary e-mail exchanges, some of them between characters that we don’t even care for—at least, I didn’t...
  • Luffy
    I was overwhelmed by what transpires in the book. So much happens. Pow. Pow. Relentlessly (for most of the book). There is no breathing space, no lull. The story is so domineering that we are caught unawares when the book ends.Benadette Fox and her family paint a ludicrous picture of her household. Most of the characters are half mad and Bernadette and her daughter Bee lead the way to Lala Land. Here, more actually, to Antarctica. Hijinks ensues....
  • Jaidee
    1.5 "whatever~~" stars !!.Maria Semple is a very clever, clear and concise writer which are all really good attributes....however this book was beyond disappointing.....it was at the upper end of "crap".....two dimensional caricatures behaving so horribly and uncomprehendingly towards each other....each character was more unlikeable than the last not in some interesting and insightful way (the Casual Vacancy comes to mind in its psychological emp...
  • Nataliya
    Even on the busiest call nights at work, the phrase that never fails to grab my attention regardless of whatever else I may be doing is, "I hear you like reading. Have you ever read _____?"That's how I first heard about Where'd You Go, Bernadette. The call night was painfully slow, the wifi was actually working, the Kindle app on my phone was begging for a free sample which turned out to be hilarious, my brain was headed into the 22nd hour of bei...
  • Rebbie
    4 1/2 magnificent stars!!Another fitting name could be: How Bernadette Got Her Groove Back :pBernadette Fox, a wealthy agoraphobe with a teenage daughter and a semi-absentee (emotionally, anyhow) husband, quite literally disappears before taking off on a family trip to Antarctica.Oh, how fun it is to dislike the witch on wheels (aka the Gnat), Audrey, who then morphs into a slightly-imbalanced but milder version of Bernadette. In my mind, this ma...
  • Meg
    This is my favorite book that I have read in a long while. Is five stars sort of ambitious? IT WOULD BE EXCEPT THIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK I HAVE READ IN A LONG LONG WHILE. So five stars, I don't care, five stars. Oh my gosh I don't even know where to start you guys. It's funny, but that's not just it. It's incredibly well-written, but that's not just it. It's got a really fun structure that is executed really well, but that's not just it, either! I...
  • Julie Christine
    I wasn’t planning to crack the cover of Where’d You Go, Bernadette. In fact, I actively resisted reading 2012’s sleeper hit. It has all the makings of something that would send me searching for that elusive “dislike” button. Social satire: Ugh. Chick lit affect (entirely and unfairly due to cover art): Ugh Ugh. Epistolary format with multiple points-of-view (tricksy, metafiction, “I’m a WRITAH” stuff): Ugh Ugh Ugh. Spoofy, anti-Se...
  • emma
    WHY ISN'T EVERY BOOK A FUNNY SATIRIC MYSTERY TEEMING WITH QUIRKY CHARACTERS AND FORMATTED MOSTLY IN DOCUMENTS LIKE A NON-FORMULAIC ILLUMINAE????this was so so fun.review to come-------currently-reading update2015 me: thinks this book is fully meh2018 me: is incapable of putting this down. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is physically attached to my hands. as if with superglue. currently re-learning how to perform basic tasks with the handicap of a pap...
  • Debbie
    What a fun read to begin the new year! I resisted reading this for quite some time, as I generally like a deeper read. Yet, right from the beginning the peculiarities of Seattle and Microsoft were sprinkled in through the story. Hmm, I have a Goodreads friend who lived there and worked at Microsoft. Now I know why she's the crazy nut she is (you know who you are.) I loved how the story was often told through emails between the characters, intersp...
  • Isabel Allende
    Where'd you go Bernardette, by Maria Semple is simple a riot of abook. I laughed so uncontrollably in the plane that some passengerscomplained. A Seattle teenage girl tells the story of how and why hereccentric mother, who has alienated everybody around her, includingher Microsoft geek of a husband, ends up lost in Antarctica. Not tomiss if you need to get over a bout of depression.
  • Suzanne
    When I first heard about this book, it sounded as though it might be just a story whose main point was to disparage Seattle. But although there is humor in the book that might seem to be at the expense of Seattle in particular, it could have been set any number of places. The main character, Bernardette, does go off on some diatribes, but it’s nothing more than the sort of complaining any urban dweller might do in any number of big cities. The ...
  • Whitney Atkinson
    I'm left very confused by this book. I think the main issue here is that I thought this book would be totally different, but regardless, I can't wrap my head around this one. People say it's humorous, but to me, it read like a satire and I was feeling left out by the joke. The "humorous" situations were over the top and insanely dramatic, which felt very fake to me. This book just seemed unreal; I couldn't connect to anyone or anything. I liked t...
  • Diane S ☔
    What an absolutely original, inventive and humorous novel, I can't remember the last time I read a novel that caused me to laugh out loud. Bernadette is a definite original, someone I wish I knew in real life. Yet, there are poignant moments, serious self realizations come to the surface and her daughter Bee is an absolute delight as well. Who knew you could form complete characters from e-mails, letters etc. yet in this book Semple does it and d...
  • Glenn Sumi
    I wanted the last book I read in 2015 to be special, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette fit the bill, despite the obvious “chicklit” cover. (More on the cover below.)The book was sweet but not saccharine, full of darkly funny humour but also a real warmth. And it introduced me to two unforgettable characters: Bernadette, a frustrated, mildly agoraphobic mother and former rising star architect, and Bee, her tiny, precocious daughter who was born...
  • Oriana
    I came home from a lovely late dinner and was heading to the computer because there are so many things I have to do before I go back to work on Wednesday. But I thought first I'd make a quick cup of tea to shore me up, and while the water was boiling I figured I'd just read for a sec—and before I knew it I was on the couch under a comforter eating an entire bag of kettle corn and an hour had passed and I was turning the final pages of this deli...
  • Michelle
    A fun to read novel, hard to put down, but not totally satisfying. It rattles along at a fast clip, told in the form of emails and reports, about a Seattle family. The locations - Seattle and Antarctica - seem to be as important as the characters.Bernadette is a stay at home mother who is remarkably anti social. She has no friends and doesn't like leaving the house, hiring an online virtual assistant based in India to carry out very simple chores...
  • Hilary
    The words “former writer for Arrested Development” are some of the greatest words any author can have in their bio – so great, in fact, that they trump “former writer for Mad About You,” even if they’re in the same sentence. The basic premise – the search for an acerbic rant-prone mother who hates Seattle (and leaving the house) who has mysteriously disappeared (or else it’d be a short search and probably titled something like “...