• Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

  • Booktrack Edition
  • By: Maria Semple
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Wilhoite
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (1,089 ratings)

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel  By  cover art

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

By: Maria Semple
Narrated by: Kathleen Wilhoite
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Publisher's Summary

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel: Booktrack Edition adds an immersive musical soundtrack to your audiobook listening experience!*

A whip-smart, hysterical dramedy about a family in crisis after the disappearance of its brilliant, misanthropic matriarch.

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 listenable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.  

*Booktrack is an immersive format that pairs traditional audiobook narration to complementary music. The tempo and rhythm of the score are in perfect harmony with the action and characters throughout the audiobook. Gently playing in the background, the music never overpowers or distracts from the narration, so listeners can enjoy every minute. When you purchase this Booktrack edition, you receive the exact narration as the traditional audiobook available, with the addition of music throughout.

©2012 Maria Semple (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A] cracklingly smart family dramedy.... [I was] stunned and transported by this extraordinarily powerful and intelligent novel."(Lev Grossman, Time)

"Intertwined with the funny stuff is the heartfelt story of a personal crisis of a creative talent who's slipped off the rails.... Bernadette's journey is fresh, funny, and thought provoking." (Anne Payne, The Florida Times-Union)

"Semple's epistolary novel satirizes Seattle, Microsoft, helicopter parents, the elite, and the overeducated - while revealing truths about family, genius, ambition, and resilience." (Gillian Flynn, GQ)

What listeners say about Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

CANNOT STAND the narrator!

Narrators often make or break an audio book for me. This narrator's "male" voices were terrible. She sounded constipated and I hated listening to them. She should just stick to her quirky voice as it is naturally. Story content seems okay. Not spectacular. Moves along painstakingly slowly.

20 people found this helpful

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  • jk
  • 06-25-19

no music needed

book was sweet. the incessant background instrumentals, while lovely, were quite distracting and detracted from the story.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Background music

The background music was annoying at times. it would have been nice to be able to turn off this function.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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BACKGROUND MUSIC!

'A fun summer diversion nicely narrated. However the background music was too loud and distracting.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Book is ok, background music is horrible!

I did not understand that the background music plays randomly throughout this book and for long periods of time. It is so distracting! Booktrack is a terrible idea. I wish I had known . The narration is also a little bit annoying. A lot of adults have difficulty with children’s voices. But this one seems to have difficulty with a lot of different voices . It’s really unfortunate and has colored my opinion of the story. I should have eye-read this one.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Background music

I found the background music annoying sometimes. This was the first audio book with background music I listen to. I like the energy the narrator.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Quite a Suspension of Disbelief

This book is filled with horrible people. There is not a single likable character, and I think this was unintentional. The characters are all supposed to be sympathetic. They are written to be multidimensional, but I didn’t believe it.

There are entirely too many looses ends and unexplored areas. How did Kyle end up adjusting? How did Elgie adjust? I just don’t believe the characters and that they are true to who they are.

The format of the book was interesting and vaguely entertaining, but no one is that detailed and rambling when they write letters or emails. It wasn’t believable. The format hurt this book.

Anywho. Not a fan.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Sounded a bit too childlike

The reader sounded more childish than the character of whom she was supposed to be the voice. I kept imagining a 8 year old and forgetting th character was going to high school. Other than just the sound, the performance was done well and the book was good

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love. This. Book! The narration is perfection.

This book was recommended by word of mouth and I just listened to it for a second time. I relished it throughout all over again. It's a great mix of snarky humour, characters you'd love to know in real life, plot intrique. Leaves you with a smile on your face wanting more. LOVE this narrator (remembered her from TV/movies). Can't praise her enough. perfect interpretation of the cast of characters.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved book, needed a better narrator

A narrator can make or break a book for me. I wish I'd read it instead of listened to it. Like other reviewers have said the background music could have been left out, but it didn't bug me too much. I subtracted a star because the narrator was terrible narrating men's voices. My husband happened to hear part of the book and commented on the fact that it did not sound like a man at all, lol.

As for the storyline. It took a bit to get into as it started out a bit like a children's/pre teen book (could have been the way the narrator was reading) but before long I was enamored with the story. It was a fun light read with several laughs. I think we all have a little Bernadette within us! I finished this book in two days once I got into the story line.

1 person found this helpful