Bernadette Fox is notorious. To Elgie Branch, a Microsoft wunderkind, she's his hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled wife. To fellow mothers at the school gate, she's a menace. To design experts, she's a revolutionary architect. And to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend, and quite simply, mum. Then Bernadette disappears. And Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a compulsively readable, irresistibly written, deeply touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's place in the world.
©2012 Maria Semple (P)2012 Hachette Audio
The primary narrator is a kid (mid teens). Significant parts of the story come in via emails from her mother, and from parents from her school. So I suppose it's partly a family drama and partly teen fiction, and it's an epistolatory novel. There's drama, back stabbing, infedelity and other bad behaviour, but also redemption for everyone - it has a happy ending. If you can stand all of that, this one is the best I've read in a long time. Very nicely done.
The narrator is good and the book is well served by her ability to differentiate accents, ages and tones of voice. I can't help mentioning that her attempt at a kiwi accent made me wince, but then I'm a kiwi and I know the difference. Probably if you come from anywhere else in the world you won't be bothered and it's a very small part of the book anyway. I'm impressed enough by her abilities to have already looked up other books she's narrated.
I loved the description of living in "Microsoft world" some parts made me laugh out loud.
I liked that the story was written through the eyes of a fifteen year old girl
Just has to be Bee
although the narration performance was good, for me this book was a waste of 10 or so hours. The story line imo was very weak and I found it very difficult to concentrate on listening to it. In fact I found myself drifting way off where the story was so boring. Very disappointing. This is the first book that I haven't enjoyed on Audible.
The audio version was much more fun than reading it -- the reader(s?) was modulation heaven -- fab
I have enjoyed many books but few surface to the top of the list like this one -- Fredrick and Fredirika; Life Expectancy all had Pat Conroy -level images.
This is brilliantly written with meaningful imagry that congured up the scene in fulll technicolor
If you are a mother who juggles the frustrations and rewards of life and home and career and creativity -- this is a great listen.
I have a busy career, travel a lot and don't have much time to read, so I listen to Audio books. I love reading!
Whacky and crazy story.. at times a little disjointed, but all in all a fun listen. I can say that I would rather have downloaded something with a litt more substance.. but hey.. that's how it goes!
Yes, it has totally put me off "bubblegum" literature / chic lit.
Anyone other than her.
The story line contains no substance and far removed from reality, the narrator’s voice sounded like nails on a chalkboard and Bernadette’s continual and long winded rants about everything wrong in her privileged world are unbearable. I abandoned the book three times before returning to it with the hope that it would get better. It didn’t.
The narration. Kathleen Wilhoite adjusts her voice subtly to project the individuality of all the characters - Bee's Dad, the annoying admin, Bernadette, even the bureacratic psychiatrist. In a book that is full of great dialogue, the narrator made it easy to know exactly who was talking at any time - without having to rewind and check. Her narration created the characters for me and made me want to know what would happen to them.
It has to be the daughter Bee. She is fiercely protective of her mother and at the same time yearning to explore the world. She is smart, funny and insightful even in the middle of a crisis. When no one else believes that her Mother is still alive - Bee stands by her and commits everything to finding her. She ignores the obvious faults of her mother's personality and just revels in her Mother's company.
The book made me laugh all the time. Bernadette's withering assessments of the "nats" are worth reading this book alone. The emails between her and her virtual assistant are delightful. I don't think I cried but I was very moved by Bee's commitment to her Mother and need to find her.
Probably the best audiobook I have read. Often, because I listen to short bursts in the car it is hard to keep up with all the strands of a plot and the characters. The narration made all the voices distinctive.
My book club says I cheat because 95+% of the books I read are on audio, but considering I spend about 2 hours a day commuting, I think it's a great use of time :)
Bernadette - such an amazing character. And Bee! She's so mature for 15. The soap-opera quality of the gossip the gnats exchange was delightful as well.
When Bee defends Bernadette against Audrey, and she decides that she'll never listens to The Beatles again.
The music at the Christmas concert Bee attends. She has a beautiful voice. She also brought Bee to life - especially after Bernadette has gone missing and she becomes a total cheeky adolescent.
I'm pretty stingy with my credits, but this was a worthwhile spend :)
Yes, its an entertaining book with lots of drama and humour that i think benefits from an audio performance like this narrator gives. Different voices, inflections and emphasis gives depth and body to this colourful story. Also Kathleen the narrator can sing !
Other than the obvious heroine Bernadette i loved Audrey. Good development and story arc and we all know someone like her.
No, as I tend never to read books over again
The actual story line and the absurdness of some of the characters
Made me laugh and also cry
Haven't enjoyed a work of fiction so much in a very long time. I was tossing up btw buying the paper book and the audio version and ultimately went with the audio version due to time and space constraints. I'm so glad I did - Kathleen's narration is just brilliant; really brought so much life and energy to an already very funny story. Really really enjoyed it!
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