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Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel | [Maria Semple]

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

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.

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Publisher's 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 mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

©2012 Maria Semple (P)2012 Hachette Audio

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Average Customer Rating

4.1 (3383 )
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  •  
    Judy 12-12-13
    Judy 12-12-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    84
    21
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    "Great Choice for Book Club"

    This was a selection for our book club and it was a hit with everyone. That happens very rarely.

    This was a fun and quick read yet there was quite a lot of discussion about the book at our meeting.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 12-09-13
    Linda PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 12-09-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"
    Would you listen to Where'd You Go, Bernadette again? Why?

    Our book club ready enjoyed this read and having the audible made it more exciting to follow along. Some of Bernadette characteristics reminded me of myself. I am going to buy the hard copy to add to my collection.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

    Finding Bernadette. I really thought she had die.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Bernadette assuring her daughter that no one would come between her marriage at the end.


    If you could take any character from Where'd You Go, Bernadette out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Bernadette, because it would be fun to reflex with someone I can relate to.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first time reading a book narrated in this manner, but it was great; and caused me to want to read more books like it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise 12-09-13
    Denise 12-09-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "LOVED IT!"
    If you could sum up Where'd You Go, Bernadette in three words, what would they be?

    Where'd You Go Bernadette can be summed up in three words: Fun, crazy, rebirth


    What other book might you compare Where'd You Go, Bernadette to and why?

    Not sure I can even compare this book with another book.


    What about Kathleen Wilhoite’s performance did you like?

    Kathleen Wilhoite changed characters seamlessly and effortlessly.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh most of the time and cry just a little.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Timmerman Indiana 12-05-13
    Dana Timmerman Indiana 12-05-13 Member Since 2012

    Amazon Customer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ok, narrater"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend reading this book.


    What three words best describe Kathleen Wilhoite’s voice?

    After a while her voice became very irritating.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Fun, light comedy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    annie haynes Carlsbad, CA United States 12-04-13
    annie haynes Carlsbad, CA United States 12-04-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "delightful"

    I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded. The performance was perfection. It was imaginative and entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christy 12-01-13
    Christy 12-01-13

    Nonfiction writer by day, fiction lover by night.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Couldn't do it"

    I keep hearing, "Give it a chance; it takes a while to warm up." I'm just not that kind of reader/listener. If you haven't interested me - or at least given me an idea what the story will be about or why I should care - in the first half hour or so, I'm out. I tried really hard to listen longer, but I had other stuff to do (and read). Maybe I'll try again sometime, maybe after I read a more full description of it somewhere else to get an idea of what I'm missing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Galt 11-20-13
    John Galt 11-20-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    221
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    8
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    Story
    "Ridiculous."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The first half of the book was simply charming. The second half was agonizing. The first half with short emails and notes and a wicked villain falls apart after Bernadette's disappearance is revealed. Instead there are long narratives explaining all the information that was in the first half. It was extremely boring and slow and I just wanted it to end so I could find out what happened. And even that was such a disappointment.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kathleen Wilhoite?

    I don't know if it was the narrator or simply poor editing. When she attempted the voice of Elgin she dropped her voice to the point it was inaudible without raising the volume then she would suddenly screech in a supposed little girl voice. Though the child was actually 15. It was quite painful.


    Do you think Where'd You Go, Bernadette needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, after trudging through the last few chapters I no longer care about these characters.


    Any additional comments?

    The book should have ended when Bernadette disappeared and left us hanging instead of slowly and painfully revealing each detail.

    Audrey was a much more interesting character when she was evil. Turning "good" was ridiculous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Los Angeles, CA 11-19-13
    Amazon Customer Los Angeles, CA 11-19-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Five stars for both story and narration"

    This was the perfect storm of a great story read by the perfect narrator. The story involves an examination of a small upper middle class neighborhood in Seattle and a Los Angeles couple who moved there years ago to raise their daughter. The Los Angeles couple is well known in the neighborhood due to the husband's high position at Microsoft and the wife's eccentric behavior. While trying to deal with their own long-brewing marital problems, they become a catalyst for other people's obsessive behaviors. The first half of the book was like a hilarious modern take on Peyton Place, but then the story goes off in a completely surprising direction following the disappearance of Bernadette, half of the Los Angeles couple.

    Kathleen Wilhoite did a masterful job of creating unique voices for each of the crazy characters in the book. This was the first book I read which was narrated by Ms. Wilhoite, but I will be looking for other books read by her in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robinson Winter Park, Fl 11-17-13
    Robinson Winter Park, Fl 11-17-13 Member Since 2013

    book listener

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Funny unexpected romp"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Where'd You Go, Bernadette to be better than the print version?

    I love the audio version as you get tones and inflections that may not have occurred to you...the narrator can make or brake an audio book and this one was spot on


    What did you like best about this story?

    The humor and unexpected story line


    What about Kathleen Wilhoite’s performance did you like?

    She had the characters nailed


    If you could take any character from Where'd You Go, Bernadette out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Bernadette or B


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 11-17-13
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 11-17-13 Member Since 2015

    A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fabulously enjoyable chick lit"

    This is a great beach or cozy-in-bed read, but I can't bear to give it four or five stars, since those should be reserved for great books and literature. I loved this book. I loved the quirkiness of Bernadette and the redemption of several characters as the story unfolds. I loved that it takes place in my hometown and references to all of the places, people and things that I know and love. I loved that I'm not the only person who wants my toilets flushed when I'm not home. I loved the narrator of the audio version who so fabulously provided a variety of voices and accents. Read this. Enjoy it. Share the love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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