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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    3,585
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    2,540
  • 3 Stars
    981
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    302
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Meh

The story was ok. It was a chore listening to the narrator. At times she was tooooo loud and enthusiastic. I had to constantly adjust the volume level. I learned a lot about Antarctica though. So much so, that now I want to visit it.

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love it!

This book is so awesomely entertaining. Loved the characters ! I would recommend to everyone.

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  • Story

Quirky, fun and relatable.

I loved the storytelling, the witty made up words, the depth of the characters. Listening to it on audio brought out the characters' of Bee and Bernadette--you could say it was pitch perfect.
Sometimes you feel like a storyline is forced in novels; not so here!

Bottom line is how different every person is...where is the place in our society for people who don't fit into conventional stereotypes? People have complicated lives and struggles, and we get some insight here into how difficult it is for creative geniuses to live in the mundane.

But even when touching on heavy subjects like depression and anxiety, there is abundant laugh-out-loud humor!

Bottom line, this is one of my two favorite books of 2016, and is highly recommended!

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Phenomenal book

Maria Semple is a magnificent writer. Her scenes vivid, humor endless and characters endearing. Her detail, rich description and background research throughout the story immerse the reader so thoroughly that you feel you are gliding alongside Bernadette and Bea whether you are moving through the 2020 house, escaping an intervention or straying to survive the swells in Drakes passage. My most fervent hope is to meet Bea and Bernadette again perhaps on the South Pole or simply listening to her describe the Washington vista.

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Love this novel, the narrator was average

The narrator's Indian accent was terrible. It made me cringe. Otherwise, the narrator did a good job.

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Loved the story. It took me a while to appreciate the narrator

The narrator is an actress whose voice has grated on my nerves the times that she has appeared in shows that I have watched. I didn't realize she was the narrator prior to purchasing and about 5 mins in I couldn't believe my luck. Having said that, she did do a really good job giving voice to the characters and by the middle of the book, had grown on me.
A quirky story with fascinating characters. I loved the mix of telling the story through correspondence and also first person account. Would highly recommend this book.

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  • Ashley
  • United States
  • 10-25-16

Ridiculous. Not in a cute way

This book is written in correspondence. It's beyond far fetched. I would not recommend it.

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  • Leah
  • Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
  • 10-22-16

I Hated to Have It End!

I'd suggest that you listen to this book, rather than read it. The narration is done so well in the audiobook that you can clearly 'get' Bernadette and truly enjoy the way she thinks and talks.. I fear if you were to read the book you may miss the nuance and perhaps find her to be too negative or full of complaints- when in reality what she says is HILARIOUS!.
This is ABSOLUTELY one of my favourite books. I envy anyone who has yet to listen to it.
Seriously, get this audible book.
You won't regret it.

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Fabulous

I really enjoyed this audiobook. The performance was absolutely amazing!! The characters have come to life in my head. Hoping this gets made into a movie!!!

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Gets better as it goes

Very enjoyable book. Excellent performance by Kathleen Wilhoite! One of the best! For me, the writing did not grab me immediately, but it got better as it went; by the Second half, I was all in.