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Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A Novel

Semple, Maria

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Print
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
0316204277
Branch Call Number: FIC S
Characteristics: 330 p. ; 25 cm.
Alternate Title: Where did you go, Bernadette

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Book Discussion Meeting
June 17, 2015

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


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Dec 19, 2014
  • ElijahMorgan rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book had such a disconnect between the two main sections, that it almost feels as if I should give a review to both parts.

The first 3/5ths or so of this book are absolutely fantastic. Semple creates a great depiction of pompous Seattle one-percenters, and isn't afraid to poke fun at the rest of the Pacific Northwest either. It was fun to see my home state satirized so well, as well as being done so in such an interesting writing style.

However, when the book switches to its second major part, much of the realism and wit that made the first part so enjoyable are lost. The writing style changes to a form which feels almost forced, and the ending was one which you can almost see coming, but you hope will be different because of how ridiculous and suddenly it happens. I definitely feel the good outweighs the bad with this book, but it had the potential to be so much better.

Dec 18, 2014
  • empbee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Fast read, good writing, funny and not so funny.

Dec 17, 2014
  • RPLRebecca rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This bestselling novel is a great pick if you are looking for a quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and became quite attached to the characters. It's funny, quirky, and there's a bit of a mystery. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is set in Seattle so reflections on the weather and West Coast culture may seem familiar. The format put me off at first – it’s mostly in the form of different correspondences from what seem like unrelated people but I soon got used to it and found the book to be quite clever.

Dec 07, 2014
  • maskara rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

This book was entertaining and readable until the 3/4 of the way through. At that point, it took a wild turn that required suspending an excessive amount of disbelief. In relation to the rest of the book, this was way out of whack.

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!

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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.

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

jescar82 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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