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
wow, what a go nowhere book. I stuck it out due to the great reviews, but what a waste of time, it never got good. It is a horribly boring book with a weak plot that doesn't show up until several hours into it, chapter 8. give it a miss UNLESS you are a Washington state native, or are familiar with the culture there. A lot of this book is dedicated to little jokes on that culture's idiosyncrasies, kind of like Tim Dorsey with Florida (which I love because I get it). I don't see it appealing to any male.
I had several starts on this book. I had it in my library forever. I'd start and stop. Listen to another book then go back. It just didn't seem to go anywhere. The first half seemed really disconnected. I had trouble keeping my mind from wandering. But then.....all of the sudden I could not stop listening. I was so immersed in this book I forgot everything else. Everything came together. It was a wild ride and I didn't want to get off! If you find yourself getting bored or whatever just hang in there! Bernadette is a fantastically complex character. Amazing book!
I really loved this book. I will listen to it again! I thought this book was funny, quirky, sad, truthful, adventurous and sarcastic. Basically life, with a sense of humor.
There are so many things about this book I loved. It took me a moment to figure out what was sarcasm. Once I got the hang of the novels' tone, I was in love with the story.
I haven't, but I loved her narration. The different voices cracked me up. I took my youngest to a pretentious preschool and found it super easy to relate to some of the characters. I adored the voices. I could easily picture the cast through the impressions!
At first, a novel based on a mothers disapperance didn't appeal to me. I thought it might be too sad and hard to get through. My own mother isn't experiencing good health, and our time together is getting shorter and shorter. It's a subject that is tough for me.
However, this book isn't about losing a mother, it's about a mother, a daughter, a family, and others finding themselves. We often lose sight of ourselves in life. We think we know ourselves and each other. Truth is, once in a while (or a lifetime) some catalyst pushes us into another step or chapter of our being. A chapter we didn't know existed.
This novel follows the changes of a lifetime for many characters. I loved the variety of people in Bernadettes' life. They were rich, well developed, and sometimes funny as hell. I just never knew what was going to happen!
This is a fabulous, funny book from an Arrested Development writer. It met my expectations in the humor department. But the narration by Kathleen Wilhoite brought the book to a whole new level
Wilhoite had a distinct speaking voice for all of "Bernadette's" characters and later in the story blew me away with her singing. This book was a true pleasure to listen to. Kathleen Wilhoite, please narrate more books. You could read me anything and I would listen!
Where'd you go, Bernadette easily reads as a truly witty comedy. Through all the laughs is a very entertaining and moving story. It's literally and figuratively a journey through the life Bernadette and her family lost and home again.
I would definitely recommend this book. It's like no other book I have listened to...I was laughing out loud, moved to tears, cheered, and sometimes booed some the characters. The narrator is PERFECTION!! I could listen to this over and over again!!!!
I loved this story. I recommend it to anyone wanting an entertaining story that different and is so unusual in its delivery it's just plain wonderful.
The first half of this book I would give 5 stars, the second half 3. The first half was original, funny, interesting and kept me reading. The second half after the intervention went downhill in a hurry for me. It felt somewhat contrived (it was almost like another author wrote the second half) as if the author had run out of ideas and was "making stuff up as she went along". I kept reading because I wanted to find out where the heck Bernadette was! I did like the relationship between Bee and Bernadette. I liked Bernadette's snarky comments about her fellow parents (gnats), Seattle and Canadians. She was somebody that I think I would like to hang out with because I did appreciate her irreverence although I think she would be a really high maintenance friend. I like a book where I inadvertently learn stuff, like about Microsoft and Antarctica. It was a book club read with about 3/4 of the members liking it.
A little bit about the narration. Aside from the fact that the narrator mispronounced realtor several times...it's real-tor, not re-lit-tor...a pet peeve of mine, I liked the narration. She was animated and did different voices quite well...and she could sing. Who could ask for any more than that.
Just re-listened to this after a series of so-so books. The narrator is absolutely outstanding. Every voice is completely distinct. I laughed out loud, and cried, listening to this tape. It's hard to say how much I would have liked this book on paper, but as an audiobook it absolutely worked. The story is light-hearted but with some gravitas, and great characters.
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