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
What a wonderful story - whimsical, wacky, wildly creative. The characters are lovably flawed and the adventure draws you in. Highly recommended as great entertainment, well-written and perfectly narrated.
Everything - terrific characters and a plot that carries you along.
Close call - I'll go with Bee.
Audrey renouncing her vendetta against Bernadette and taking responsibility for making her seem mentally ill.
while the story was a little interesting, I just felt that it was too unbelievable. The things that Bernadette gets herself into, almost serendipitously, were just too over the top. It starts out well, but then just leaves you thinking, no freaking way.
entertaining, insightful, smart
Bee's awakening to how music can transport a person
The characters are vividly drawn and interesting. There is a wonderful sense of absurdity in the story. There was one scene that was such brilliantly crafted farce, it should be on stage. There was another hilarious scene in which a a women in an emotional frenzy, is trying to type a letter on a poorly functioning computer. I literally laughed out loud. The mother's description of Seattle reminds me of the satirical TV show "Portlandia". I am particularly impressed by the depth of understanding with which the author creates Bee, an eighth grade girl. The story handles painful human issues sensitivity but without sentimentality; it's sophisticated without being snobby. I was sorry when the story ended.And kudos to the superb reader!
Kept my attention.
The story kept me guessing.
yes. The narration was well done: however, I didn't like to narrator's voice. I found it annoying.
Hilarious, Warm, Real.
I can't think of one as original as this.
Bee's reaction to Audrey confronting Bernadette about the mudslide.
I loved this book and Kathleen Wilhoite's performance was perfection! I'm giving this book out for Christmas presents this year!
everything everything - the narrator - was funny - kept me listening - hated for it to end
totally. the voice actoer on this is by far on of the most engaging i've listened to
the moment of "oh Holy Night" is incredibly powerful, touching, and moving in a way that I don't think I would have realized if I were just reading the text
I think that this may be a book that is better suited to reading rather than listening. It is basically a compilation of email messages and other communications, stitched together by the protagonist/narrator (story narrator, not Audible narrator), Bernadette Fox's daughter. The frequent transitions in character p.o.v. are jarring when being narrated.
Also, I am having a really hard time with the narrator. I wish she did not try so hard. The ethnic characters she narrates in accents that are borderline caricatures. When she narrates the voices of some of the men, she sounds like she is doing an impersonation of a butch lesbian. The contractor from L.A. mysteriously has a terrible Staten Island accent (thus sounding like a butch lesbian from Staten Island). I would say that the worst, however, is her narration of the things written from the point of view of Bernadette. She inserts a level of spastic whimsy that I really don't feel is there in the first place.
I almost stopped listening, but the story was compelling enough to get me through.
I didn't read the print version. The performance was well done, so I tend to prefer a good audio performance in general to the voice in my head while reading. Plus, I won't crash my car when enjoying the book.
I enjoyed the complex, yet believable characters in this book. The situations were a little out there but many of the real-life facts help to keep the story grounded.
I have not listened to any other Kathleen Wilhoite performances to know how this one compares.
Absolutely. I had trouble hitting the pause button once I started listening.
I would like to hear more from this author. This book was very entertaining and well worth anyone's time to listen. I used this book as a breather from my usual long historical novels. Thanks for the oasis, Maria Semple!
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.