Dear Library Patrons, The mission of NYPL is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities. Government support only pays for a portion of our work, so we rely on you to help - from stocking our shelves with amazing books, expanding our e-Book selection, classes, events, or even making free WiFi accessible to all. We are trying to raise $425,000 by December 31: an ambitious goal, but one that will fund incredible learning and reading in our community. Please consider donating to help keep our services free to all New Yorkers in 2015 >>


Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A Novel

Semple, Maria

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
 Add a Comment  Add Tags
To her Microsoft-guru husband, Bernadette'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 her 15-year-old, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316204279
Branch Call Number: FIC S
Characteristics: 330 p. ; 25 cm.
Alternate Title: Where did you go, Bernadette


From Library Staff

Book Discussion Meeting
June 17, 2015

Bee's crazy, genius Mom goes missing and Bee decides to go find her.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Please make this available in Kindle format. I can not use books from the 3M library on the new Voyage. This is the third eBook so far that I have not been able to borrow because of lack of Kindle compatibility.

Title: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Author: Maria Semple
Summary: Los Angeles native, now-Seattle-resident Bernadette Fox, wife of Microsoft big-timer Elgin Branch and mother of gifted Bee Branch, finds herself swept up in a whirlwind of scandal, identity crisis, and even on the ends of the planet in this comical story.
I would rate this book 9/10 stars. This witty, uniquely crafted satire is comical yet dark, and can resonate with not only Seattle natives (who will probably catch on to more of the humor of the story), but with any other reader who may come from a less-than-ordinary family.
I started reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette because it takes place in Seattle.
I kept reading because the novel pokes fun at the stereotypes of Seattle, something I not only found hilarious but is also a rare find in literature.
I couldn’t get enough of the accuracy of Semple’s portrayal of Seattle from Bernadette’s perspective, as cynical as it may have been. Anything from Microsoft jokes to quirks of the rainy city kept me hooked.

If Bernadette were in a yearbook, she would be voted Most Likely To: “Escape From Prison Unnoticed”.

Sep 25, 2014
  • mombrarian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Perfect if you are looking for some fairly lighthearted fare - funny, clever and some mystery elements to boot.

Sep 17, 2014
  • Rock_Shadow rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Fun, campy, easy to read. I enjoyed the satire of Seattle, Microsoft, and a private school environment, and would have given it more stars, but Semple abandoned the story towards the end. The last parts of the book seemed rushed, and not well connected to the earlier story. Still, a hard to put down book.

Aug 12, 2014
  • EricaReynoldsNYC rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A perfect weekend or vacation read. Loved the characters (in all their flaws), loved the settings, loved reading this book. It flew by, quick and quirky and engaging. I read it in one night, and wished I could read another just like it.

Aug 03, 2014
  • norma777 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Quirky, funny, light read. Dry, witty observations at the expense of local culture. If you live here and take yourself too seriously, you may not like it.

Jul 31, 2014
  • queequegs rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Quirky and fun weekend read. Recommended!

Jul 30, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This novel is too funny. I can't believe Bernadette outsourced her personal assistant. Correction, her "virtual assistant". But this just sets up for some funny email correspondences between Bernadette and her virtual assistant Manjula, who just happens to live in India. The novel is full of interesting and funny characters. Bernadette being the central character because it's her abrupt disappearance that fuels the story. Bernadette's daughter Bee tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together through emails, letters, articles, etc. to find out what happened to her mother. Hence the novel's title: "Where'd you go Bernadette?"

Jul 26, 2014
  • brigittereads rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

so good. it was witty, funny, heart-breaking. ugh! loved it!

"As a reward for her academic achievements, eighth-grader Bee Branch has been promised a trip to Antarctica (Bee's choice) by her parents, tech guru Elgin Branch and architect Bernadette Fox. However, Bee's dream soon becomes a nightmare when Bernadette -- whose creative genius is outstripped only by her social anxiety and agoraphobia -- disappears. Bee's efforts to recover her mother involve the compilation of the emails, faxes, official documents, and letters that form the basis of this delightful, charming, witty novel." Fiction A to Z July 2014 newsletter

View All Comments


Add a Video

A Summer Satire: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Wall Street Journal interview with Maria Semple on Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

Mar 03, 2014
  • lilmisslibrary rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Book Trailer for Where'd You Go Bernadette

Hachette Australia Books book trailer

Maria Semple pitches "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" to Seattle book folk

Super cute book trailer of author pitching her new book to Seattle booksellers, plus Tom Skerritt!


Add a Quote

Jul 30, 2014
  • M_ALCOTT rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

" 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

Jul 07, 2013
  • darcerama rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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.


Add Age Suitability

Mar 17, 2014
  • jescar82 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

jescar82 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at NYPL


Other Formats

Buy It Now

Support your library, keep it forever!

View Purchase Options Learn more about this program

Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Semple, Maria
Where'd You Go, Bernadette

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.

I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Explore Further

Browse the Shelf

Subject Headings



Powered by BiblioCommons.
app10 Version eventuell-fix Last updated 2014/11/25 14:28