Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A Novel

Book - 2013
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Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she is a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she is a disgrace; to design mavens, she is 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 e-mail messages, official documents, secret correspondence, creating a touching novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter's love for her imperfect mother.
Publisher: New York : Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2013
Edition: First Back Bay paperback edition
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780316204262
0316204269
9780606317221
9780316388351
0316388351
0606317228
Branch Call Number: FIC SEMPLE 2013
Characteristics: 330 pages, 7 pages, 15 pages ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Where did you go, Bernadette

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Books to Movies 2019
Shelf_Talk Feb 22, 2019

Release date: March 22, starring Cate Blanchett.

When brilliant and hilarious architect Bernadette has trouble acclimating to the Seattle culture—to the point of escaping to Antarctica—her daughter Bee is determined to find her and bring her home.

In this satiric novel set in Seattle, written by a former writer for the TV series “Arrested Development,” Bernadette goes missing after some truly uproarious incidents and it’s up to her daughter Bee to find her.


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Gina_Vee Jun 18, 2019

This was a quick read because it was suspenseful. At first, I was a little fuzzy on the storyline, but I like books you may have to go back to to fully grasp what's happened in the story. I'm excited to see what they do with the movie coming out!

l
lendmeyourears2017
Jun 02, 2019

This book is filled with jewel-like jokes such as, “Wives are like bras, the most matronly can be the most supportive.” Just reflect on that statement for a moment and then laugh to yourself…I did.

It’s a collection of humorous and slightly poignant short stories from many women’s points of view. The characters range from New York high-end apartment dwellers, third tier celebrities, Southern ladies…all through the spectrum of adult womanhood in these modern days.

The readers, Kathleen McInerny, Lisa Cordileone, Rebecca Lowman, and Dorothy Dillingham Blue, each expertly paint a picture of the scene and characters for the short story they are reading. These women’s voices add humor and engage the listener employing their skills with dialects and comedic timing.

This book is a great companion as you go through your day…commuting to work, household upkeep, running errands. It’s an amusing take on what women think and say when they are being at their most candid.

s
sloanelCPL
May 30, 2019

I read this book soon after it was released, and just recently listened to the audiobook. I was surprised how much I'd forgotten (which says more about my memory than the book). A good social satire, enjoyable characters, especially the lovely young protagonist. It will be interesting to see if a movie can do justice to it.

i
iversl
Apr 17, 2019

Wasn't sure I was a fan of the letter-format this book takes. The ending really brought it home, though.

b
Bob
Mar 15, 2019

Bob's wife says: I saw the movie trailer and thought it looked great so I decided to give the book a try. Normally I love these send-ups of people who have more money than brains but this one just irritated me. The more Bernadette rambled, the more I disliked her. The kid was sweet though.

m
mharris1227
Feb 12, 2019

Easy, fast read. The first half was intriguing and hard to put down. The correspondence and different points of view enhanced the already lively story. I read the first half in one sitting. As a mother, the first half was so relatable - on a larger scale, but still relatable. The second half was a little slower, not as exciting, but amusing. It is definitely one to read when needing a pick-me-up or just an easy read. Witty and funny. I will recommend to friends.

k
Kmoellering
Feb 10, 2019

Easy, light read. Story is told through a series of emails, notes, etc. which reminded me a bit of Big Little Lies (a better use of your time IMO). Parts are funny it's interesting to see if from different characters viewpoints to build on the story. I know this book isn't meant to be a literary classic, but I found some of it to be so outrageous and impossible that it's hard to take the book seriously. The books was creative, so I found the ending to be sort of phoned in.

Hillsboro_JenniFerg Feb 06, 2019

What a fun read! It's so clever, and the characters are very engaging. It's structured in a very unique way and kept me guessing until the very end.

IndyPL_SteveB Jan 24, 2019

This clever novel is like watching a mosaic being made, one color at a time. You see bits and pieces but the entire picture doesn’t come into focus until near the end. Bernadette Fox is a formerly all-star architect, depressed and somewhat insane, stranded (she feels) in the horrible city of Seattle, because her husband works at Microsoft. Their daughter Bee is a very bright 8th grader with big ambitions. Bernadette is at war with an equally crazy neighbor, Audrey. Bernadette has made one friend in the past 10 years, an on-line assistant, supposedly in India, whom she hires to do internet purchases for her.

As the book begins, we discover that Bernadette has disappeared and Bee is putting together a book of material to figure out where she went. Most of the story is told through e-mails, faxes, and letters written by the various characters, each of whom are extremely unreliable narrators. Some of the scenes are hilarious, as you might expect from a former television writer for *Mad About You*, *Ellen*, and *Arrested Development.* Big laughs!

a
Aunt_Jess
Jan 04, 2019

Thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Laugh every time I see blackberries growing with a douchie house hovering on a hillside now. Planning a trip south....

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Quotes

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Hillsboro_JenniFerg Feb 06, 2019

"Parking in Seattle is an 8 step process." Ha!

M_ALCOTT Jul 30, 2014

" One of the main reasons I don't like leaving the house is because I might find myself face-to-face with a Canadian. Seattle is crawling with them. You probably think, U.S./Canada, they're interchangeable because they're both filled with English-speaking, morbidly obese white people. Well Manjula, you couldn't be more mistaken."-Excerpt from an email Bernadette sent to her virtual assistant Manjula

d
darcerama
Jul 07, 2013

Chihulys are the pigeons of Seattle. They're everywhere, and even if they don't get in your way, you can't help but build up a kind of antipathy toward them. --Page 162, paperback edition.

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SRSMITH1991
Sep 13, 2015

SRSMITH1991 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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jescar82
Mar 17, 2014

jescar82 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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