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 does a delightful job of bringing Bernadette to life, making you like her and getting you to understand her struggles without making her whiney. I really enjoyed her performance.
The Mystery of Mercy Close, because while there is a mystery to be solved, the real story is in the characters and the different experiences that have shaped their lives.
She tells the story with a lot of emotion. Also she sheds a kind of levity on the more sarcastic parts. She reads different passages that could be considered complaining or dwelling with a kind of chuckle and it helps you relate and really enjoy Bernadette.
There's a scene from Bee's perspective where Bernadette is fighting with the neighbor and Bee realizes that the incident is going to get back to her father and it's going to change the way things are. I think everyone has a moment like that, where you have no control over something that you don't want to happen.
It was a very entertaining story and performance. It was hard for me not to binge listen to it and save it for when I was in the car. I enjoyed it very much.
I LOVED the narration of this book. It was so well performed that I will probably listen again. One of those Audible moments when the recorded version has got to be better than reading an actual book. Kathleen Wilhoite went above and beyond with her voicing. The highlight for me as a listener was the amazing rendition of O Holy Night - I was blown away!
Say something about yourself!
Great writing and an excellent story. I loved it and expected to hate it. I am looking for another.
This ask too many questions. I don't like it.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a easy, fast read, and was very enjoyable. The narration did not bother me as some other reviews had stated.
The clever use of emails, letters, medical reports and a TED talk make for a refreshingly original read. The narrator does the individual voices perfectly. Amusing send-up of the suburban Seattle aspirational lifestyle. The narrative does get a bit dark in the second half, but redeems itself by the end. A few bits strain credibility, but overall it's a very fun story. Our Book Club found it very enjoyable.
Editor for over 25 years, for 35 books in the R.E. appraisal area & CEO of my own small biz. Got my MFA in creative writing at age 67. :D
This story of Bea, a 15 year old in a 10 year old's body due to a major heart defect in infancy, is interesting up to a point, and then goes -- quite literally -- south. The narrator, especially when voicing Bea, used an unfortunate whine to simulate adolescence. The backstory was more interesting than the novel as it moved forward in time. The COVER is terrific - good marketing!
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.