2015 Book #16 – Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple


Title: Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Author: Maria Semple
Date finished: 3/1/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: December 21, 2012
Pages in book: 326
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

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.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Epistolary” square. Well I just freaking loved this book. I mean I seem to have a thing for epistolary novels in general but this book specifically was fun, playful, witty, and just riveting. I literally read it in a day, I just could’t put it down. I love Bernadette’s character, probably because I can relate to it quite a bit. She’s a little bit ADD, a little bit OCD, and a whole lot of antisocial. She is very close with her daughter,Bee, a very bright young girl who’s just been accepted to Chaote (boarding school back East). I love Bernadette’s description of living in Seattle, and I love the gnats! Hilarity ensues in Bernadette’s interactions with Audrey (the gnat next door) and they end up crossing swords a couple times throughout the book.
One of the things that I found really interesting about this book was that none of the characters ended up really being “the bad guy.” All of the adults did dumb, selfish, petty things but all of them also at other points in the book did selfless, loving things. It really made you think about how we’re all him and no one is either all bad or all good, people are selfish and weak and make mistakes. I loved that about this novel.


Link to author website
Link to Amazon

3 thoughts on “2015 Book #16 – Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

  1. Pingback: Friday Finds (Sept 18) | Rebeccabookreview

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