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Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A Novel

Semple, Maria

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316204279
Characteristics: 330 p. ;,25 cm.

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Dec 18, 2014
  • empbee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Fast read, good writing, funny and not so funny.

Dec 17, 2014
  • RPLRebecca rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This bestselling novel is a great pick if you are looking for a quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and became quite attached to the characters. It's funny, quirky, and there's a bit of a mystery. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is set in Seattle so reflections on the weather and West Coast culture may seem familiar. The format put me off at first – it’s mostly in the form of different correspondences from what seem like unrelated people but I soon got used to it and found the book to be quite clever.

Dec 07, 2014
  • maskara rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

This book was entertaining and readable until the 3/4 of the way through. At that point, it took a wild turn that required suspending an excessive amount of disbelief. In relation to the rest of the book, this was way out of whack.

Title: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Author: Maria Semple
Summary: Los Angeles native, now-Seattle-resident Bernadette Fox, wife of Microsoft big-timer Elgin Branch and mother of gifted Bee Branch, finds herself swept up in a whirlwind of scandal, identity crisis, and even on the ends of the planet in this comical story.
I would rate this book 9/10 stars. This witty, uniquely crafted satire is comical yet dark, and can resonate with not only Seattle natives (who will probably catch on to more of the humor of the story), but with any other reader who may come from a less-than-ordinary family.
I started reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette because it takes place in Seattle.
I kept reading because the novel pokes fun at the stereotypes of Seattle, something I not only found hilarious but is also a rare find in literature.
I couldn’t get enough of the accuracy of Semple’s portrayal of Seattle from Bernadette’s perspective, as cynical as it may have been. Anything from Microsoft jokes to quirks of the rainy city kept me hooked.

If Bernadette were in a yearbook, she would be voted Most Likely To: “Escape From Prison Unnoticed”.

Sep 25, 2014
  • mombrarian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Perfect if you are looking for some fairly lighthearted fare - funny, clever and some mystery elements to boot.

Sep 17, 2014
  • Rock_Shadow rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Fun, campy, easy to read. I enjoyed the satire of Seattle, Microsoft, and a private school environment, and would have given it more stars, but Semple abandoned the story towards the end. The last parts of the book seemed rushed, and not well connected to the earlier story. Still, a hard to put down book.

Aug 12, 2014
  • EricaReynoldsNYC rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A perfect weekend or vacation read. Loved the characters (in all their flaws), loved the settings, loved reading this book. It flew by, quick and quirky and engaging. I read it in one night, and wished I could read another just like it.

Aug 03, 2014
  • norma777 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Quirky, funny, light read. Dry, witty observations at the expense of local culture. If you live here and take yourself too seriously, you may not like it.

Jul 31, 2014
  • queequegs rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Quirky and fun weekend read. Recommended!

Jul 30, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This novel is too funny. I can't believe Bernadette outsourced her personal assistant. Correction, her "virtual assistant". But this just sets up for some funny email correspondences between Bernadette and her virtual assistant Manjula, who just happens to live in India. The novel is full of interesting and funny characters. Bernadette being the central character because it's her abrupt disappearance that fuels the story. Bernadette's daughter Bee tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together through emails, letters, articles, etc. to find out what happened to her mother. Hence the novel's title: "Where'd you go Bernadette?"

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Jul 30, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

" 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

Jul 07, 2013
  • darcerama rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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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Mar 17, 2014
  • jescar82 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

jescar82 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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