Friday, June 20, 2014

Review - Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Published - August 2012

Book Summary

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 daughter’s unflinching love for her imperfect mother.

My Review - 5 star

Where'd you go, Bernadette is the best laugh I have had by a book in years.  I had to walk away at one stage because I was crying with laughter.  I controlled myself came back and started up again, so funny.  When I found out Maria Semple is a television writer for Ellen DeGeneres, it all made sense.  I was so pleased I gave Maria a second chance.  I tried to read This One is Mine and I abandoned it, this came across as a different writer to me, so well done to her for having talent to write so differently and please a wider range of readers.

Bernadette was a fun character, some will say crazy, I will say eccentric at the highest level.  The summary states is best, she fits the role of the eyes of the beholder.  Bernadette with her daughter and husband live in a house that everyone else thinks is abandoned, and they are wealthy, but she is a brilliant designer so she is going to create the most amazing home right, sometime soon, it must be.  You have to read for the true laughable understanding. Her neighbours and parent association do not like her and she continues to despise them also, calling them gnats.  Is she infesting her own life or is the outside, or maybe she is just not dealing with a full deck, lol.

Bea is able to choose anything she wants after she Aced her report card and chose a vacation to the Antarctica. Her mom agreed but was having an internal melt down due to her lack of social skills.  She was researching the freezing unlivable part of Antarctica instead of the vacationing part and built up a paranoia which had you laughing and also feeling sorry for her.  The author did a fabulous job with Antarctica description.

Bernadette hired an online assistant, the suspense on where this relationship will end was jaw dropping funny. Yes, people can be so naive and stupid, I'm laughing just at the thought.  Bernadette goes missing and the search and pieces of the story all start coming together brilliantly.

Maria Semple uses a unique style to format her story; emails, letters, school notes,  detective notes, even bills to take us on the journey, there is no way you get caught up in the style because you are smiling, giggling and falling over yourself with laughter throughout the book.

Such a great read, I loved it and would highly recommend when you need a light hearty fun read.

This was a book club read and all 6 of us enjoyed it.


  1. I loved this book too. The audio is fantastic!

  2. I love books that make you laugh out loud!


  3. Ooh, wonderful review! Now you have me wanting to read this soon! Many people liked it, but I wasn't sure if it was for me, but if you found it laugh out-loud funny, I'm all for it!

  4. I am so excited that you loved this book! This is still a big favorite of mine and I wish I could read this again.

  5. I need to try reading it. I tried the audio and the humor didn't quite come across.

  6. Ahh I've been putting off reading this, but I got excited about picking it up reading this review and hearing your thoughts on it. Glad you all enjoyed it.

  7. I abandoned this one because I couldn't get into it... glad that you had a great time reading it though :)

  8. I had this book for so long, and finally decided to pick it up and get it read. Like you, I loved it and it's one of my favorites! I fell in love with Bernadette and her personality!!


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