Thursday, April 18, 2019

Audio Book Review: Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co. 
Source: Personal Copy 
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says,"Bernadette Fox has vanished.  When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces--which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where'd You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are and the power of a daughter's love for her mother."

At first glance, Bernadette may appear to be your run of the mill mother, but she isn't and hides many secrets from those around her. For starters, she was an architectural genius in Los Angeles before some unfortunate things happened to her professionally.  Now she is a homebody with a ton of phobias and emotional issues.  Her husband is equally smart and works at Microsoft.  After years of fertility issues, they had Bee, who is also very bright and goes to a private school in Seattle. Bernadette despise the other nosy mothers at Bee's school and has never really acclimated to Seattle life.  Bee did well in school and in turn, the family plans on taking an extravagant trip to Antarctica to celebrate. Bernadette hates going out in public let alone a trip to Antarctica, so this throws her for a major loop.  To top it off, Bernadette is being blamed for a disaster that occurred at the school's fundraiser, so after these series of unfortunate events, she decides to up and leave.  With Bernadette gone, Bee tries to piece together the mysteries surrounding her mother and figure out where on Earth did she go?  Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple is an entertaining audio book that had me laughing out loud while also feeling empathy towards Bernadette.

I loved the character of Bernadette in Where'd You Go, Bernadette. I am not sure what this says about me, but I adored her. I thought she was whip-smart and super funny, especially when it came to  her interactions with the other parents at Bee's school.  Although Bernadette has her "mental" issues, I could appreciate her struggle of being a mother and not always living up to everyone's expectations.    The fact that she hired a personal assistant via the internet is pretty hilarious in its own right.  On the other hand, her husband, Elgie, was a huge pain in the butt. I was wondering why she even married him.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette is told through a series of emails, public records, letters, etc, which makes it a very fun audio book.  I think the narrator, Kathleen Wilhoite, did a fantastic job capturing the various different characters and she was a pleasure to listen to.

If you enjoy quirky tales with a huge side of wit, check out Where'd You Go, Bernadette.  I am so glad I did before the movie comes out this summer. Did you read or listen to this book? Let me know your thoughts! 


  1. I have this one on my shelf because the film piqued my interest. Hoping to read it this summer before the film arrives to digital/DVD. It certainly sounds like a fun kind of "journey" story. :)

    1. It was such a fun book! I hope you can read it before the movie comes out! Thanks for visiting, Rissi!

  2. I'm hoping to get around this one during summer as well, it sounds like a really fun read :D

    1. It was so much fun! It will translate to the big screen very well. I hope you can read it soon! Thanks for visiting, Lily!

  3. This does sound kind of fun! I didn't realize a movie was coming out.

    1. Yes! It's starring Cate Blanchett! It should be good! Thanks for dropping by, Angela.


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