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Publisher's Summary

Soon to be a major film starring Cate Blanchett

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To Elgie Branch, a Microsoft wunderkind, she's his hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled wife. To fellow mothers at the school gate, she's a menace. To design experts, she's a revolutionary architect. And to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend, and quite simply, mum. Then Bernadette disappears. And Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a compulsively readable, irresistibly written, deeply touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's place in the world.

©2012 Maria Semple (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    40
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    41
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    19
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    6
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    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    56
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    23
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    13
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    3
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If you like the genre, this is first rate

The primary narrator is a kid (mid teens). Significant parts of the story come in via emails from her mother, and from parents from her school. So I suppose it's partly a family drama and partly teen fiction, and it's an epistolatory novel. There's drama, back stabbing, infedelity and other bad behaviour, but also redemption for everyone - it has a happy ending. If you can stand all of that, this one is the best I've read in a long time. Very nicely done.

The narrator is good and the book is well served by her ability to differentiate accents, ages and tones of voice. I can't help mentioning that her attempt at a kiwi accent made me wince, but then I'm a kiwi and I know the difference. Probably if you come from anywhere else in the world you won't be bothered and it's a very small part of the book anyway. I'm impressed enough by her abilities to have already looked up other books she's narrated.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • barbara
  • Kallaroo, Australia
  • 10-18-12

Funny and enchanting

What did you love best about Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

I loved the description of living in "Microsoft world" some parts made me laugh out loud.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked that the story was written through the eyes of a fifteen year old girl

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

Just has to be Bee

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a wonderful book!

Would you consider the audio edition of Where'd You Go, Bernadette to be better than the print version?

The audio version was much more fun than reading it -- the reader(s?) was modulation heaven -- fab

What other book might you compare Where'd You Go, Bernadette to and why?

I have enjoyed many books but few surface to the top of the list like this one -- Fredrick and Fredirika; Life Expectancy all had Pat Conroy -level images.
This is brilliantly written with meaningful imagry that congured up the scene in fulll technicolor

Any additional comments?

If you are a mother who juggles the frustrations and rewards of life and home and career and creativity -- this is a great listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lorna
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 08-27-12

Whacky and Crazy!

Whacky and crazy story.. at times a little disjointed, but all in all a fun listen. I can say that I would rather have downloaded something with a litt more substance.. but hey.. that's how it goes!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration ruined the entire book

I could not even admire the story line the narration was so annoying and badly read the characters came across as imbeciles

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda
  • Doreen, Australia
  • 09-03-12

Didn't grab me at all

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

although the narration performance was good, for me this book was a waste of 10 or so hours. The story line imo was very weak and I found it very difficult to concentrate on listening to it. In fact I found myself drifting way off where the story was so boring. Very disappointing. This is the first book that I haven't enjoyed on Audible.

What do you think your next listen will be?

The room

Have you listened to any of Kathleen Wilhoite’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

absolutely not

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

just could not finish it

Good performance, but I just could not finish listening to it. It was supposed to be funny, but I did not even smile once.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

So much fun!

It was chaotic, messy and I loved it! The voices that Kathleen Wilhoite made for certain characters was amazing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Real touching story with just the right amount humor

Kathleen does a wonderful job voice acting all the characters . Taking you through this wonderful story of a dis functional yet all-American family

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting, funny and a nice guide to Seattle!

What did you like best about this story?

The book is written in great and intellectual way. The characters are interesting. They develop through the story. I didn't expcet the transformations that some of them went through. I like to be surprised like that when reading a book. I like the way the main character is portrayed as having flaws of her own in spite of arguably being the "good guy" in the story. A lot humorous moments through out the book, but also more sad ones, especially those related to the illness of the main character.

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

Both perhaps, bust mostly laughter.

Any additional comments?

I absolutely recommend this book, which is written by an intelligent author.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • 06-08-13

Giggles!

Haven't enjoyed a work of fiction so much in a very long time. I was tossing up btw buying the paper book and the audio version and ultimately went with the audio version due to time and space constraints. I'm so glad I did - Kathleen's narration is just brilliant; really brought so much life and energy to an already very funny story. Really really enjoyed it!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charlotte Brown
  • 08-12-17

Excellent

If you could sum up Where'd You Go, Bernadette in three words, what would they be?

Funny, insightful and touching.

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

I loved the school pick up and drop off scenes and all the insightful life observations by Bea

Which scene did you most enjoy?

All of them so much going on.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The end without giving anything away.

Any additional comments?

Both story and narrator excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa Heledd Jones
  • 04-19-18

brilliant (and also silly)

Incredible performance by narrator. Intriguing story. Gorgeous lead in the daughter. It helped me through tonsillitis!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • redsky
  • 03-09-18

Disappointing

I found this story overrated. All the characters are awful people, making everyone around them miserable, with the exception of the daughter. Most of them eventually face the consequences of their behaviour, although the husband never fully acknowledges how his abusive behaviour affects his wife and daughter.
The narrator is passable but really needs to stop trying to imitate non-American accents as they were painful and jarring to listen to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Po Stoneman
  • 05-18-17

Amusing

Quite funny and does make me think about how we see other people. Great narrative

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Clare Campbell
  • 03-31-17

Truly Delightful!

Well read, great characterisation, and a charmingly quirky story. I loved it from beginning to end!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • claire
  • 12-13-16

Sadly unlistenable

This may be a good book. Unfortunately I was prevented from finding out by the shrill, over- excitable narration. This rapidly became unbearable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Prof
  • 08-22-16

Awesome

Simply marvellous. Beautifully written exploration of modern life, the joys and heartaches of family, redemption and the experience of taking a road less travelled. Enjoyed every second and will explore the authors other works. But a special gold star for the narrator who brought this all to life, she really did sing for her supper on this one and, as the tears rolled down my cheeks in the denouement I applauded her in the car!! Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • 07-06-15

Enjoyable

Slow to get going but very entertaining and lovely. Accents often irritating and the non US ones truly terrible

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kirsten
  • 06-13-15

fantastic story!

This is one of the best books i've ever read. It's so happy! A whole life opened up to you by mails and notes, it's incredibel!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Christine Fletcher
  • 06-10-17

Intriguing. Fabulous performances by readers

The characters were so lovable, though I didn't want to let go & must admit a did feel a bit empty at the finish - but I'm not one for loose ends. The audible version is very cleverly read & I'm pleased I chose this version over the written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. Agata Iannarella
  • 10-24-16

Love love loved it!

The story and narration are fantastic !
Could not stop listening. Hope to see movie very soon.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren
  • 02-22-15

Struggled to finish

Struggled to finish. Narrator was a bit too brash for my liking. Story line wasn't great.