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Where'd you go, Bernadette

Semple, Maria. Book - 2012 Fiction / Semple, Maria, Adult Book / Fiction / General / Semple, Maria None on shelf 11 requests on 4 copies Community Rating: 4.4 out of 5

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When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.


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Summer Epistolary Fun submitted by sdunav on June 17, 2013, 2:54pm I usually don't like unreliable narrators (thinking of "Gone Girl" here!), and Bernadette and Audrey annoyed me at first with their back and forth stories told through e-mails, notes, journal entries, etc. But like the blackberry vines surrounding Bernadette's house, the narrative grew on me. It was funny, then it got ridiculous, then it became a little transcendental.

A fun light read about motherhood, anxiety, architecture, psychology, private schools, and Antarctica.

Light satire submitted by fizzleskittle on June 25, 2013, 4:05pm I read this on a whim at the suggestion of a friend. It proved to be a quick, laugh out loud read. Bernadette (the mother), is very tounge-in-cheek and speaks to the rediculousless of one-upping Mom's. The voice in this is perfect. I'm usually not a fan of chapter by chapter narrator switches, but this was well done and left me wanting more.

Best book I've read in years submitted by marielle on July 5, 2013, 6:54pm My mom read this for her book club, and said I MUST read it. My book club also selected this book. The verdict? Everyone loved it.

It's a charming work about mother daughter relationships, how a mother's identity changes (or doesn't) after having a child, and a great mystery to boot. Just lovely.

Fun fun fun! submitted by Juliettie on July 25, 2013, 3:37pm This was one of those totally plot-driven stories that's a great summer read. I couldn't give a whit about any of the characters. Normally I'd want to feel sympathy for a child, but this one didn't do much for me. :) I did enjoy the threads of the story, though...least so the microsoft emails/memos and most the emails between Audrey and Soo-Lin. I was also overly amused by the "gnats" reference. I used to live near people like that. That was worth the price of admission right there. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy!

At once charming and deep submitted by emilytrentacosta on August 13, 2013, 7:36pm I loved this book! It was so well done and the characters were portrayed beautifully. I laughed out loud and actually cried at the end. A very touching story about the depth of our relationships.

A funny quick read submitted by Lmd3577 on June 13, 2014, 6:00pm I really liked this book a lot. This book I would say is greatly written in correspondence format which is what I like because it does make it a quick read but it allows us the reader inside several characters minds and their thought process which makes this book quite hard to follow at times. In the end this is a quite enjoyable quick read.

Decent Summer Read submitted by Sunny29 on June 24, 2014, 12:39pm This book takes on the perspective of a precocious teen called Bee, who tries to balance living with her very different parents and orchestrating a trip to Antarctica. I enjoyed the second half of the book (when Semple gets into the meat of the mother, Bernadette) and wish there would have been more of that from the start. Easy book to pick up and put down- perfect to enjoy in a lawn chair or at the beach!

A great book that's hard to explain submitted by ssmyth on July 15, 2014, 3:57am Our book club read this and we ALL loved it!! Funny, clever and so creative... It's hard to explain the book, but I keep telling people about it and to read it and those that do also enjoy it and even have said it's the best book they've read in a long time!

Comically Entertaining, but Annoying at Times submitted by jason.tinsley on July 21, 2016, 4:34pm Ok, so I liked the book. However, there were times where that I was like "really...seriously?" It got to a point where I really didn't know which characters I felt sorry for the most. It was entertaining though and Bernadette was a hoot. It wasn't the page turner I was looking for, but I didn't stop reading.

Delightful farce submitted by Susan4Pax -prev. sueij- on August 27, 2016, 4:26pm This book was a delightful farce... I mean, how could you not notice when the daughter got a report card graded on a scale of "Working on Excellence," "Achieving Excellence," or "Surpassing Excellence?" It beautifully skirted the line between the real and the ridiculous, and that was one of its best features. As another example, an admin assistant was a member of the group "Victims against Victimhood" (VAV) who one time sent about 8 looooooong texts to her boss during a work meeting, because she thought he needed to take control of his life. His response? "Trying to concentrate. I'll read these later." Beautiful!

But the story, which looks and vaguely presents as light (think 'beach read') actually deals with some heavy-duty topics, and it was... odd. The disconnect between the farce and depth of the issues meant that every time I picked it up, I felt a little bit jarred by the storyline. In the end, though, this became fantastic fodder for our book club discussion, and I think that this will go down as one of our (lighter) favorites.

Enjoyable submitted by Zekicmom on August 11, 2017, 10:17am It took me a little while to get used to the style of story telling, jumping around from emails and letters between characters, and Bernadette's daughter's putting everything together from her point of view. It's a quick read, good for the summer.

Awesome! submitted by Jelliekim on June 29, 2018, 3:26pm Awesome

Flew through this one! submitted by bookher on June 14, 2019, 1:47pm What a fun book! I loved the characters and the story line was never predictable. It almost read like it was intended to be a movie and it would be a fun movie. I can totally see Salma Hayek as Bernadette, Bill Pullman as her husband and just about any young girl actress to play the daughter.

Hi submitted by CarterEaston on June 14, 2019, 4:11pm Ishshehhshshhhsbebbdhehhhdhehehegegegehehehhebwhebehwggegshsushehdushhudhsussjhw

Fun submitted by kjshaffer on July 13, 2019, 7:36pm I really enjoyed both the female protagonist and her daughter in this book. It was a well written farce, and kept me entertained from beginning to end.

Great audiobook submitted by edb.blanchard on July 14, 2019, 8:30pm Loved this as an audiobook very entertaining and excellent mother-daughter dynamics (nervous for the movie...)

Great easy read submitted by Aimless on July 19, 2019, 9:19pm It was a fun book that I flew through

Book submitted by Clown81 on August 31, 2019, 4:55pm Going to see the movie.

Worth reading! submitted by pamhockey25 on August 18, 2020, 9:22pm Where'd you go, Bernadette? The book starts out a little slow, but stay with it. It gets better and you'll find yourself hoping that Bernadette figures things out.

A fun read! submitted by KatieDW on August 5, 2021, 6:28pm I had some trouble getting into it at the start, but really enjoyed it after I read more.

Loved the book. Better than the movie! submitted by lisa on June 10, 2022, 11:34am Great style for storytelling via snippets of this 'n' that; memorable characters. A quick & fun read.

Good fun submitted by ellec on July 13, 2022, 5:42pm I didn't find this book to be particularly realistic, but it was good fun. I would recommend it for anyone looking for a light-hearted read.

Recommended!! submitted by Gil Schwarts on June 10, 2023, 3:52pm This book will make you laugh most of the time, occasionally cry, and probably think. Highly recommended!

Light read submitted by Bethybeth07 on July 10, 2023, 7:31am It’s a quick book you can power through in an afternoon. Admittedly I had higher expectations for this book. It was fine just not the masterpiece others made it out to Be

Cover image for Where'd you go, Bernadette

New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2012.
Year Published: 2012
Description: 330 p.
Language: English
Format: Book


Women architects -- Seattle -- Fiction.
Missing persons -- Fiction.
Phobias -- Fiction.
Mothers and daughters -- Fiction.
Antarctica -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction.