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
I love books, but I particularly love audio books. What a luxury to have someone like Campbell Scott read you to sleep.
Bernadette was such a difficult and unlikeable character that even with her cute kid as a sidekick the story fizzled. WIth audio books the author has to tell a great story with characters you care about or you fall asleep, which is easy to do in AudioBookland.
What would I change about the book? See para above.
Pretty good, tough to get into the layout being in the form of mostly reading emails, faxes and a few in person conversations. Really only picks up toward the end of part II when many of Bernadette's odd behaviors are explained, ending was really decent too.
Both the writing and narration were superb, and I could not wait to find out what happened next.
They were all priceless, even the ones I didn't like at first.
Just get it, you'll thank me and all the others who loved this book.
Probably not, just because there are so many books out there.
Every person in the book had flaws and likable traits. She is good at exploring how most people will react to any situation differently from others and the stories behind why.
Her voice is unique, pleasant, and flowed well with the story line.
There were some very funny parts, but none that made me laugh out loud.
I would recommend this. it was suspenseful and kept me interested the whole way through. I was a little mad at the husband.
Nerd, cook, and avid audiobook reader
I really loved this book and I thought the narrator was very good. However, the book was structured such that it was rather difficult to appreciate by just hearing the audio version. Fortunately,this is one of the titles I chose to download both the Kindle and Audible version so I could read both versions via Whispersync for Voice. After the first article or two, I switched from the audio book to the Kindle to get my bearings
The story begins as a series of semi-related pieces of documentation that don't really have the full impact in audio. Once I switched back to the Kindle version and re-read the beginning, I was able to really appreciate the author's method of storytelling. I did switch back to the Audible version once the book became more narrative in nature.
This is not a criticism of the narrator at all, nor of the author's writing. Both were extremely good. It was just one of those rare books that I enjoyed reading more than listening.
It turns out this reader can sing, too!
She did an excellent job with all the voices. Normally I cringe when readers do accents, but she was perfect. All the characters were distinct and realistic, and none were annoying.
When I first realized this was an epistolary novel, I thought maybe it was silly to do it as an audiobook. But I was so impressed with Kathleen Wilhoite, I'd recommend this audiobook to anyone.
I really liked this book. Great story with interesting characters. It dragged a bit in spots, but overall was funny, touching, and believable. I would definitely read another book by this author.
I would totally recommend this audiobook to my friends! Actually I already have. Easy to listen to, liked the story and light enough to listen to while doing other stuff. I'm a technical writer so I need a good book to stay focused on the technical stuff!
The daughter of course!
She was easy to listen to.
Marriage and Family Therapist
Just the right pacing, great exploration of a precocious kid's perspective. Love the quirkiness of Bernadette, the exploration of "crazy" vs. eccentric, the rejection of norms that keep people boxed in to small lives. Great tale of personal and artistic freedom in a world where most people cling to security.
What a clever story this was. Being a fairly anxious person myself, I could really laugh at and relate to some of Bernadette's behavior. It was well read by Kathleen Wilhoite. Just an enjoyable book from start to finish. I highly recommend it.
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