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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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  •  
    Gayle Hallgren-Rezac Vancouver, BC 03-30-13
    Gayle Hallgren-Rezac Vancouver, BC 03-30-13 Member Since 2003

    I love books, but I particularly love audio books. What a luxury to have someone like Campbell Scott read you to sleep.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bernadette you lost me."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher B Schmidt San Jose, CA United States 03-22-13
    Christopher B Schmidt San Jose, CA United States 03-22-13 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Pretty good, tough to get into the tech"
    What did you love best about Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calirose 03-17-13
    Calirose 03-17-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved, loved, loved this, couldn't stop listening"
    What made the experience of listening to Where'd You Go, Bernadette the most enjoyable?

    Both the writing and narration were superb, and I could not wait to find out what happened next.


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

    Meeting Bee.


    Which character – as performed by Kathleen Wilhoite – was your favorite?

    They were all priceless, even the ones I didn't like at first.


    Any additional comments?

    Just get it, you'll thank me and all the others who loved this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rebecca longmont, colorado, United States 03-17-13
    rebecca longmont, colorado, United States 03-17-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A good story for understanding cognitive biases"
    Would you listen to Where'd You Go, Bernadette again? Why?

    Probably not, just because there are so many books out there.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What about Kathleen Wilhoite’s performance did you like?

    Her voice is unique, pleasant, and flowed well with the story line.


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

    There were some very funny parts, but none that made me laugh out loud.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this. it was suspenseful and kept me interested the whole way through. I was a little mad at the husband.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Jones Southern United States 03-16-13
    S. Jones Southern United States 03-16-13

    Nerd, cook, and avid audiobook reader

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    "Lost something in Audio"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 03-15-13
    Hilary SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 03-15-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Fun story, GREAT reader"
    Where does Where'd You Go, Bernadette rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10


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

    It turns out this reader can sing, too!


    What does Kathleen Wilhoite bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet 03-14-13
    Janet 03-14-13
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    13
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    "Loved this book."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah United States 03-06-13
    Sarah United States 03-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "My kind of book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The daughter of course!


    What about Kathleen Wilhoite’s performance did you like?

    She was easy to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie A. Levin Pleasant Hill, California 03-06-13
    Julie A. Levin Pleasant Hill, California 03-06-13

    Marriage and Family Therapist

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story. Great narration."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Smiball Cincinnati, OH, United States 03-04-13
    Smiball Cincinnati, OH, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hilarious!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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