Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria SempleWhere'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

byMaria Semple

Hardcover | August 1, 2012

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A misanthropic matriarch leaves her eccentric family in crisis when she mysteriously disappears in this whip-smart and "divinely funny" novel that inspired the movie starring Cate Blanchett (New York Times).
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 her best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette vanishes. It all 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, and secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and surprisingly touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.
Maria Semple's first novel,This One is Mine, was set in Los Angeles, where she also wrote for television shows includingArrested Development,Mad About You, andEllen. She escaped fromLos Angelesand lives with her family inSeattle, where her second novel takes place.
Title:Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A NovelFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:338 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.88 inShipping dimensions:9.21 × 6.14 × 0.88 inPublished:August 1, 2012Publisher:Little, BrownLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316204277

ISBN - 13:9780316204279


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! It's entertaining, informative (loved the bits about Beatles and Antarctica), funny yet profound. I highly recommend! Written mainly as a series of emails and notes between different characters. Reads quickly. I was hooked from page 1!
Date published: 2019-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this!! This book exceeded my expectations, I loved it so much!
Date published: 2019-01-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh I was looking forward to this book as I read reviews that said it was a great book. I enjoyed it a bit at first since it was told from some different ways-emails, point of view, past/present. But it took so long for the main part to get going by the end I was skimming some pages. It seemed like it was going to be more mysterious than it actually was.
Date published: 2018-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cute and captivating A quick, funny read. Finished this in 2 days. Loved the unique way the story was told.
Date published: 2018-10-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An Interesting Read I did not know what to expect with this book but I found it to be an emotional rollercoaster! I liked the format of the story- told in snippets of emails and other documents.
Date published: 2018-08-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Story This was a good story and uniquely written. I was a little disappointed though. I thought it would be more of an exciting story. The main character wasn't very likable either. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Witty and captivating A funny summer read that will surely keep you captivated.
Date published: 2018-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Hysterical Whip smart, incredibly clever, and totally hilarious. The epistolary style makes this novel both easy to read while adding to its quirky charm. This novel will suck you in and leave you giggling for days with just the right mix of family-feel good and accurate cynicism.
Date published: 2018-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read This book is so different, I love the way it was written. It is terrifically witty and fun. I love the characters and the functional dysfunction of this family. Would recommend to all ages, would make a great beach read :)
Date published: 2018-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I really enjoyed this book. The story was different than usual, and I really liked the detailed main characters. I don't read many novels set in Seattle so the background was interesting too. Highly recommend, and looking forward to the movie.
Date published: 2018-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from so good!! I was browsing the store one day, found this book and thought "might as well read it!" and holy moly! I'm so glad that I did! The book was beautiful, the mother/daughter relationship was so heartwarming. Definitely a book to read with your mother and/or daughter Not necessarily thrilling, but super interesting and entertaining!
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Such a mixture of emotions while you read this book! It is definitely an easy read, but not a dumb, no thought behind surface kind of plot. Definitely recommend.
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! I started reading this book after seeing it on Jane The Virgin... It was fun and mysterious. Really enjoyable read!
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun and Quirky I really enjoyed the characters in this book! They were fun, relatable, and so entertaining. I would love to read more books by this author.
Date published: 2017-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun read!!! A quick, fun read. Lots of laugh out loud moments! Highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun read! This story draws the reader in. It's a fun read! I laughed out loud so many times. It is definitely a nice escape for a weekend read.
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hilarious Few books will actually make me giggle or smile and this was one of them. Loved it!
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious! Loved this story from beginning to end, laughed out loud at parts. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Where'd You Go Bernadette Clever, with a tone that fluctuates between humor and something darker, for me, the daughter was the standout character. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I was expecting I think I had gotten so excited about this book that when I finally got around to reading it, it just didn't cut it for me
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I really enjoyed this...until the end. I was somewhat disappointed by the ending, but loved the book. It was relatable and very funny. Recommended!
Date published: 2017-05-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay, not great An okay book , not exactly exciting to read.
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just okay An easy read, but not very exciting. It does have some funny moments and I liked the beginning. The falling action of the story just was not interesting and was not satisfactory to me.
Date published: 2017-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious!! This book was great. Told in a unique perspective with TONS of humor. I highley recommend it.
Date published: 2017-04-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Couldn't get into it I got this as an audiobook, which was probably best since I had a really hard time getting into it. The writing style is interesting but the tale couldn't grab my attention.
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from couldn't even finish this I think this was one of the worst book I've read in a while; it was boring and flat and whiny, if a book can even be whiny.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Witty I found the writing style be the best way to explain the story. Bernadette will make you laugh.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun story This story was told in an interesting manner that kept you entertained. The characters are funny and Bernadette will definitely make you laugh
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Couldnt get inot it. I couldn't get into this book. For me the writing still just didn't flow even though I had heard great things.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Really enjoyed this book. I had never read anything from Maria Semple, but after reading this one I've ordered all of her books.
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Story! I loved this book. It was refreshing - funny and smart and really showed that people are not all good or all bad...can't say much without giving things away, but I was really satisfied with this read, and the way the story flowed from different points of view. Give it a try!
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved Bernadette! Some people may find Bernadette annoying but I really loved her attitude. She was straightfoward and not pitious (which can be a little too dramatic for me sometimes). It also had some nice facts about Antarctica that I enjoyed reading about. An easy read!
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! I loved this book. It was entertaining and easy to read. I finished it in one day!
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ok... I thought this novel was funny and smart, and I can honestly say that I've never read anything like it. It dragged on a bit, but it is extremely witty. This is one of those novels where you really get to know each and every character. Give it a try!
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing! Funny, witty , and captivating. Really enjoyed this book!
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun and light read Where'd You Go, Bernadette was funny and easy to read. It cheered me up during exam time. Bernadette is quirky and likeable, and her relationship with her daughter is nice.
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really fun novel!! This book was so so fun to read! Very enjoyable! At first, I was a little stuck with the storyline, but once you get sucked in, the book will be glued to your fingers - you won't be able to put it down!!
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very easy and fun read Ok, this is a partly humorous novel. So, don't take it too seriously. Then you will definitely enjoy this book. It is by no means boring. It isn't numbingly dumb either. The narrative is quite unique and will keep you hooked since the very first pages. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Different #plumreview I enjoyed most of this book. It was quirky and unpredictable. Did not like the ending.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy read, fun story Funny story but the plot took a bit of a crazy turn.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from couldn't put it down! This book was written in a way unlike any others I have read. The format was so much better than the types of books that jump from one character's thoughts to the next. It showed the point of view from Bee the whole time making it much easier to follow and enjoy. I liked the mental health aspect.
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun easy going read Easy fun read. I read it on 9 hour transatlantic flight. It was engaging and funny and kept me awake through the night.
Date published: 2015-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A really fun read This book was so different from anything I had read before. It was funny and heart-wrenching and very readable.
Date published: 2015-08-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dry Humor Some parts ofvthe book were funny, but itvwas a little too much. Not sure that I would read a sequel to this book if one comes out.
Date published: 2015-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put it Down! I picked this up based on Indigo recommneds - so happy I did. It was a light easy read - that made me laugh out loud. (how can anyone hate Canadians? -lol).
Date published: 2015-03-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Plot took a wild turn into silliness I was enjoying this book up until the last third when it made a wild left turn and just got ridiculous. It was so farcical, I expected one of them to wake up and find out was all a dream.
Date published: 2015-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun read! Loved the book! A good story, interesting characters, a few laugh out loud moments and an ending that tied up all the loose ends. I definitely recommend it!
Date published: 2015-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended! The reader’s point of view is from Bernadette Fox’s daughter Bee who is a genius child and wants nothing more than to go to Antarctica with her parents. Following a string of letters, emails, notes, and even conversations between all the characters is a story about how Bernadette Fox goes missing. Her quirky actions ultimately lead to one of her biggest secrets, resulting in her only daughter to search for her. Where’d You Go Bernadette is a wonderfully humourous read. I loved the different writing style where the story plops a letter or an email from one of the characters to another character. It shows a different dimension to the character and a rather funny one at best. Can I just say how much I love Bernadette and her crazy ways? She even reminds me of Becky Bloomwood from Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series. Both beautiful, loveable, and has everyone’s best interests at heart. I wasn’t surprised to hear that this was written by one of the writers from one of my favourite TV shows Arrested Development. It pokes fun at Seattle, at Microsoft, at snobby rich kids, and even Canada! I couldn’t help but chuckle at Bernadette’s reason WHY she hates Canadians..I was literally laughing into the book. Where’d You Go Bernadette is a fun and fresh read, perfect for a sunny afternoon at the beach. Good natured and antisocial Bernadette Fox has notoriously become one of my favourite adult characters to date, next to Becky Bloomwood of course. Give it a try, I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2014-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious! I was recommended this book but it took me a while to actually buy it, thinking it was a bit silly or not my style. However right from the beginning I was sucked in. The sarcasm and wit keep you smirking the whole time. Such a great commentary on aspects of our society today. We all know or know of these people/corporations that Maria Semple writes about. An easy, light, quick read. I highly recommend it. Don't hesitate... don't read more reviews... just buy and enjoy it!!
Date published: 2014-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! I couldn't put this book down - great read. I love the author's description of Canadians. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2014-07-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quirky I think the best way to describe this book is "quirky" - it describes the characters, the format (transcript, narrative, email, correspondence), and storyline. Unfortunately, I just wasn't terribly invested in the characters or anything that happened to them. The whole premise of an agoraphobic mother all but "disappearing" after agreeing to take a teenage daughter to Antarctica was a bit ludicrous. I did appreciate the parallels between Bernadette's "oddities" and everyone else's "normal". Bee was a very precocious and likeable character too. But on the whole, I found the book unsatisfying and am not recommending it.
Date published: 2014-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better than I expected I got off to a slow start with this one. I didn't really like it, but as I continued the characters became more interesting and the story really got going. Quirky and funny, a really entertaining book.
Date published: 2014-07-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better than I expected This book was smart and funny. The characters are well written and you get pulled into the story. I read this book in a few days.
Date published: 2014-07-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome story Love this book!! Its refreshing and new and the characters have depth and growth
Date published: 2014-06-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Where'd you go? Overall good book. I finished it, liked the ending, but could have done without about 40 of the pages 2-3s in.
Date published: 2014-06-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great, funny, easy read Read this book over a couple of nights. Loved the humour, the format it was written in (often as email correspondence), and intrigue in discovering what indeed happened to Bernadette. Fun read, would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2014-06-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Alright. I didn't love it...I didn't hate it. Writing style a bit confusing in the beginning. Didn't seem realistic. An easy read, good for summer maybe.
Date published: 2014-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Hilarious, witty and insiteful! I couldn't put it down. Can't wait to discuss it this month's book club.
Date published: 2014-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very funny I laughed out loud at some of the pictures the author painted. The characteristics of Seattle, Microsoft, school mothers, etc. were so bang on. The story line , however, had a much deeper meaning and kept you reading through the family's struggles.
Date published: 2014-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this Somehow Maria Semple writes an often hilarious tale about some serious problems. Bernadette loves her husband, adores her daughter (both intriguing personalities themselves) while trying to deal with her own issues that stem from her success earlier in her life. A great cast of characters in a fast-paced ingenius scheme. 
Date published: 2014-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! This book was a fun, fast read. The author keeps you interested throughout the entire book. With a lot of books that I read, I end up skimming over paragraphs because they are so drawn out, but this book was not like that.
Date published: 2014-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Where'd You Go, Bernadette If a book can be slapstick, this is. Laugh out loud funny.
Date published: 2014-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid Great look into over parenting, parenting, and judgement. Loved it.
Date published: 2014-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Where'd you go, Bernadette Loved it :-)
Date published: 2014-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Where'd You Go Bernadette? An interesting book that is somewhat slow to start but has an interesting ending. The book is told through the eyes of Bee, an eighth grader who is articulate and bright. It all comes together at the end.
Date published: 2013-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Where'd You Go Bernadette? I devoured this book in just under 24 hours, would've been shorter if it weren't for having to take care of my kids. I really liked it, definitely would recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.
Date published: 2013-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book I could barely put this book down.
Date published: 2013-09-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny and Clever A joy to read.
Date published: 2013-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put it down! Loved it! :) I felt like reading a book that will keep my interest going through the whole book, and this just did that and more! I could NOT put it down!! It was so much fun, there were so many mixed emotions that played within the plot, it was quite intriguing and interesting to read. The author draws you in and does not let you leave! By the time I was at the end, I was hoping there could have been one more chapter to finish the adventure, but all in all, a great book!
Date published: 2013-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most fun book that I have ever read. This was the most fun book that I can remember reading. Great for those of us who have a mind that tends to have spurious thoughts. After work today, I drove straight past the garden centres and headed directly to my couch to dig back into this book. Fun. Fun. Fun.
Date published: 2013-06-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun! This was our book club pick for February! I downloaded it to my Kobo and started reading! This is one of those books that draws you in and makes you long for time to read! I read in car, the ice rink (yes I should have been watching the game) and in bed. I stole every minute I could get! The book is told by Bee (Bernadette's daughter) in a series of emails and letters. At time it is laugh out loud funny! The story gives us a inside look a Bernadette....her rise and fall. Bernadette has lost touch with reality and has even outsourced her life to a virtual assistant in India! Without giving it away; Bernadette disappears and Bee is determined to solve the mystery! This book is light & fun and guaranteed to make you smile....if not laugh out loud!
Date published: 2013-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious and engaging. Loved this wacky book. The writing style is unique and engaging, and the story is hilarious. Definitely read it!
Date published: 2013-02-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Sarcastic and satirical humour had me laughing out loud I didn't find this book, this book completely found ME. I swear it. Maria Semple wrote this book, got it published, and then made it so that it found it's way onto the shelves at JUST my eye level. I both liked and grew frustrated by so many things in this book. Let me tell you about it: The story opens with an outline of Bee's grades, straight A's across the board, an outstanding accomplishment. It turns out that both her mother, Bernadette Fox, and her father, Elgin Branch, had previously promised her an Antarctic cruise as the reward for this exact outcome of excellence. So it's set, the family is going away. But so is Bernadette's Fox's sanity. Since an unfortunate even that took place in her professional life, her tolerance for the people and the world around her took a nosedive. The trip then comes to a stand-still after Bernadette mysteriously disappears. I felt like I completely understood Bernadette, at least throughout the first half of the book. I related with her creative side, and her inability to function in a world where her passion wasn't being put to use. I climbed into the space in her head with her where it was just too difficult to deal with reality, and all the obligations of living a "normal" life. I love that the author allowed the readers a glimpse of both sides of the coin-the view of Bernadette through her daughter's eyes, and through the eye's of those who completely misunderstood her. She is made out to be a creative "genius," though I never quite catch a hold of that line of thought, I mostly found her a tad whiny and overwhelming. I enjoyed the layout of the storyline, told mostly through letters and correspondence that had come into Bee's possession. I also liked that after each letter, Bee's own thoughts on the matter were there to help set things straight-I felt like I got to know Bernadette better than anyone else in the book did. This very fact helped softened my feelings near the end, which had me questioning Bernadette as a mother, and a human being. Her decision(s) were justified, but not enough to make me like her overall. The twists in this book were hard-hitting, and made for one hell of a climax. The sarcastic, and satirical humour had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion-serious laughs, not just "ha-has." I especially enjoyed the numerous mentions of us Canadians being too into "equality." An entertaining read, though the build-up throughout the book led to a mostly mediocre ending. I recommend this book to all mothers, everywhere, who know that you could lose your mind once in a good while, but you could never lose the love you have for your children. Also, for those looking for a few good, heart healthy laughs.
Date published: 2013-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A fun easy read This book is packed with humour and characters that you love to get to know. It's written in a fun, modern voice that resonated with me. Once I got started I couldn't put it down. It has "make me into a romantic comedy movie" written all over it! true things all wrapped up just a little too easily and rapidly near the end - but it is so endearing you won't be inclined to worry about that.
Date published: 2012-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful I really enjoyed Maria Semple's style of writing. It fit the novel perfectly and was an interesting way of telling the story. All of the characters were portrayed as unique individuals and, throughout the course of Where'd You Go, Bernadette, you got to know the characters as people - there was a lot of character development. The only thing that I would've changed in this book was the ending - I thought that there was still ongoing issues that weren't resolved, but at the same time, that fact allows the reader to make up their own ending and imagine where the characters end up. Overall, a great read!
Date published: 2012-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A quirky, heartfelt read! This book was extremely unique! The epistolary form, though rarely attempted, really helped showcase Semple's talent. Extremely quirky and heartfelt, I laughed out loud and even shed a tear near the end. I would highly recommend this. The perfect read to curl up with for the fall!
Date published: 2012-08-21

Editorial Reviews

"Funniest book since the invention of the printing press."-Gary Shteyngart for Entertainment Weekly