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
Kathleen Wilhoite could not have done a better job with this book--she is delightful, and brings every character to life. Part mystery, part comedy, all fun. It took a little while to get into the format, which switches back and forth between letters, e-mails, and narration, but it is so worth the trip, and so fun. Well done on all fronts!
This reader detracted from what would otherwise be a very engaging story. She read the book as if it were a stage performance, infusing far too much of her interpretation of the characters on the reader. A more aloof, dispassionate performance would have enhanced the listening experience.
The author's skewering of the politically correct Seattle private school scene and the "community" of parents was hilarious.
This book is pretty brilliant! It's odd, funny and just downright fun to read. Would def recommend. But it's a light read don't take it too seriously. It was right on time for me. A nice change of pace.
This is a really fun interesting book. The reader does a great job of telling it as well, she captures the voices of the characters very believably.
Not at all.
A NY Times reviewer said, "Comedy heaven.... This divinely funny, many-faceted novel...leaves convention behind”. All I can say is HUGH? Was the reviewer on the sauce or something stronger?
The daughter sounds like a spoiled two yr. old and not an intelligent 15 yr. old. Bernadette does not sound like a brilliant architect who managed to find a place to stay in Antarctica. In reality, they should have committed her. Only, dear old Dad sounds real, although not gallant. The premise was lame. In short, the book might be okay for papering a cage.
It MIGHT have been funny if written from Bernadette’s point of view but I doubt it.
Yes! It's an easy listen. The reader does a fabulous job with voices and you cleary know who is talking through out the book. It's almost like listening to a stand-up comedy routine!
Elgen, because he loved Bernadette so much he would have done anything for her.
The mudslide! ha!!
Two parts actually 1. When Elgen told B to go and 2. When Bernadette opened the velvet bag when B found her.
Loved this book!! A great listen! Awesome story about nothing at all but about something real.
Unique, fun, compelling
Had to be the post-mudslide argument on the sidewalk.
At first the narrator's treatment of the various characters was a little off-putting, but as the story went on and you got to know the characters better, I felt the performance was pretty darn good. Although I thought the narrator's portrayal of a 15 year old girl to be a little too babyish.
Toss up between Bernadette and Audrey - one might call them co-antagonists since they lived to push each others' buttons.
I loved this modern take on the epistolary novel. Going back to an old form was interesting as instead of being told through letters alone, faxes, emails, magazine articles and journal entries fall into the mix. Though it didn't hook me straight away, I did become invested in the characters fairly quickly. You find yourself sympathizing with different characters as they are further developed. Not your average chick-lit story, good fun and even got a couple of tears from me.
Addicted to books in all forms.
The book is great fun, so much so that I did not give up early thanks to the narrator's characterization of Bee. I had heard so many great things that I did not preview the sample and just bought it. The narrator does a great job giving each character a distinct voice, but every time Bee came on I wanted to scream. And Bee comes on a lot. However like others, I was blown away by Wilhoite's singing, My recommendation is try the sample. Bee's voice is always high pitched and annoying, not just when she is dancing around because she is getting what she wants for graduation. If you can handle it I do not think you will be disappointed in the audio version of the book. If you are then buy this one to read. Because it is a great story worth discovering.
This was a great listen and kept me entertained through the whole book. Loved the story, the characters and the narrator. There were some laugh-out-loud moments and I really enjoyed the mother-daugher relationship. The telling of portions of the story through emails and letters was also a nice diversion. I highly recommend this book!
This is my first audiobook. I really enjoyed listening to it during my commute. Kathleen Wilhoite is so talented! Even singing during parts with a really great voice.
I enjoyed the structure and how the story was told via emails, faxes and letters. Felt like I was reading someone's private story.
This is the first for me. She is amazing!
Bernadette definately. I'd love to hear more about the new projects she is involved in.
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