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
Excellent depiction of the world of glass houses. The story was great fun, the narrator brought each character to life, creating poignant characatures of each one. Thorough enjoyment!
I loved the story and narrator was awesome. Her voice and tone really helped lend a hand to building the characters. I love the writers work too. This book is funny, curious, and a fun tale to follow.
This book was a breath of fresh air. I loved all the quirky characters and the writing style. There are so many aspects to the story, but I felt everything came together nicely, and it wasn't difficult to keep up with the different stories and characters. The book told an interesting story, in a unique way, and did a great job painting the scenes, characters, and events with delightful turns of phrase that made me laugh, think, and thoroughly enjoy this story. I am sad to be finished.
I enjoyed the dramatic style of the narrator. It put the story in perspective and emphasized the large, colorful personalities of the characters.
No, but I would be curious to see what it feels like to read it on paper. I remember seeing it in a bookstore (and not buying it) a few months before I got the audiobook, and finding Bee's voice engaging in the first part of the book as I read it there in the bookstore. The reader's voice didn't agree with my interpretation of the lead character, Bee. Bee sounded about 10 years old, not 15. She was a played too immaturely. Even if a girl's physical development is stilted due to early health problems, a 15-year-old is still a 15-year-old. I will say I thought the performer did the other voices well, they were fairly easy to tell apart, and the male voices were done well. One other criticism is that when Audrey was having a hissy fit early in the book, it tried my patience -- too much one-note hysteria.
Mainly the journey of Bernadette herself. SPOILER ALERT (don't keep reading if you don't want a relatively subtle spoiler).
I liked that she was slowly and surely descending into the brink of mental illness -- and accidentally found a way to heal herself, mainly through trusting her friends (that she didn't know she had), her family (in an indirect way), and herself.
Yes but it was almost impossible to find any patience with some of the journal entries, such as the ship's logs, these long lists of short back-and-forths that had almost no meaning -- this would be easier to quickly read through. It was a nightmare of boredom to listen to. This was the part where they were tracking Bernadette's drinks or some such thing on the ship. This was a flaw in the writing more than the reading thereof. This is where the device using documents and correspondence to tell a story, when the author couldn't use Bee's voice, simply didn't work. It was clunky.
No -- for the reasons already listed here, it was better in 45 minute increments -- perfect for my daily commute!
There's Good, Bad & Ugly. I did this book as an audible. I can't imagine anyone actually reading pages. It went on forever. The good = the characters are interesting and there's humor to make you laugh out loud. The bad = it went on and on and on. Whoever edited this did an awful job. Do over! Ugly = the actors doing the narration is just okay but theres a singing part where she sings beautifully but the song goes on and on in after a while you don't care anymore. That's the problem with the book – there are times you wish she would just end.
This book is weird, tragic and delightful. It's raw and pretentious all at once, which only elevates its charm, in my opinion. What makes this book quirky is what also makes it painfully real: Every family is crazy, every kid wants to believe the best, and every adult has no clue to how to manage life. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" reads like a movie but the impression is as real-life as it gets.
wow, what a go nowhere book. I stuck it out due to the great reviews, but what a waste of time, it never got good. It is a horribly boring book with a weak plot that doesn't show up until several hours into it, chapter 8. give it a miss UNLESS you are a Washington state native, or are familiar with the culture there. A lot of this book is dedicated to little jokes on that culture's idiosyncrasies, kind of like Tim Dorsey with Florida (which I love because I get it). I don't see it appealing to any male.
I had several starts on this book. I had it in my library forever. I'd start and stop. Listen to another book then go back. It just didn't seem to go anywhere. The first half seemed really disconnected. I had trouble keeping my mind from wandering. But then.....all of the sudden I could not stop listening. I was so immersed in this book I forgot everything else. Everything came together. It was a wild ride and I didn't want to get off! If you find yourself getting bored or whatever just hang in there! Bernadette is a fantastically complex character. Amazing book!
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