Customer Reviews for

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Average Rating 4
( 399 )
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5 Star

(163)

4 Star

(150)

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(44)

2 Star

(29)

1 Star

(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

30 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

LOVED

What fun this book was! Quick recap of key characters:

Bernadette – Award winning architect turned recluse who hides out the days in an airstream camper she had installed by her house so she can avoid the house help. She also has a virtual assistant in India who she ...
What fun this book was! Quick recap of key characters:

Bernadette – Award winning architect turned recluse who hides out the days in an airstream camper she had installed by her house so she can avoid the house help. She also has a virtual assistant in India who she hires to basically handle all the day to day duties she has including ordering food, shopping, and planning all the details of their upcoming vacation (at only 75 cents an hour which I confess gave me a momentary idea before I was horrified that I even considered it!).

Elgin “Elgie” – Her Microsoft genius husband who really has no clue of the life that exists around him, including his own family. Such an enigma that he thinks it’s totally appropriate to work at the office without his shoes walking around in only his socks…which is probably gross considering how much it rains in Seattle. How cool would it be to be considered such a god that you could walk around funking up the air around the office and no one would dare tell you to put your shoes back on?

Balakrishna “Bee” – their daughter who is an extremely intelligent child who is probably the most normal character in the book!

The Gnats – What Bernadette calls the other private school moms who are a bunch of self-absorbed and narcissistic women. Their antics constantly had me laughing, while another part of me wanted to poke them in their eyeballs. I actually respected Bernadette a lot for her reserved way of dealing with them instead of giving a karate chop to the neck.

Truly a group of 1 percenters as another reviewer described. Money seems to come out of the water faucets for these people. I suspect they might even use dollars as toilet paper. Their reality is unimaginable for the other 99 percent of the population. Yet somehow…I liked Bernadette. Yes she seems like a nut job and the family has no idea how the rest of the world lives, but she is a woman who loves her child.

I found it laugh out loud funny throughout. The majority was written in various forms of correspondence format. I was really pulling for Bernadette despite all her flaws (because are we not all flawed? Just in different ways?). I was really pulling for Bernadette and hoping she would be found. As for if she was, you will have to read for yourself to find out.

People will probably either love it or not, depending on whether or not you can suspend belief while reading it.

posted by OurBookAddiction on October 6, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

14 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

Technical difficulties

This was a fun and cute book and I really wanted to buy it, but the sample was so buggy: pages duplicated and/or in the wrong order. I was confused and had to stop reading.

posted by Anonymous on August 24, 2012

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  • Posted October 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    LOVED

    What fun this book was! Quick recap of key characters:

    Bernadette – Award winning architect turned recluse who hides out the days in an airstream camper she had installed by her house so she can avoid the house help. She also has a virtual assistant in India who she hires to basically handle all the day to day duties she has including ordering food, shopping, and planning all the details of their upcoming vacation (at only 75 cents an hour which I confess gave me a momentary idea before I was horrified that I even considered it!).

    Elgin “Elgie” – Her Microsoft genius husband who really has no clue of the life that exists around him, including his own family. Such an enigma that he thinks it’s totally appropriate to work at the office without his shoes walking around in only his socks…which is probably gross considering how much it rains in Seattle. How cool would it be to be considered such a god that you could walk around funking up the air around the office and no one would dare tell you to put your shoes back on?

    Balakrishna “Bee” – their daughter who is an extremely intelligent child who is probably the most normal character in the book!

    The Gnats – What Bernadette calls the other private school moms who are a bunch of self-absorbed and narcissistic women. Their antics constantly had me laughing, while another part of me wanted to poke them in their eyeballs. I actually respected Bernadette a lot for her reserved way of dealing with them instead of giving a karate chop to the neck.

    Truly a group of 1 percenters as another reviewer described. Money seems to come out of the water faucets for these people. I suspect they might even use dollars as toilet paper. Their reality is unimaginable for the other 99 percent of the population. Yet somehow…I liked Bernadette. Yes she seems like a nut job and the family has no idea how the rest of the world lives, but she is a woman who loves her child.

    I found it laugh out loud funny throughout. The majority was written in various forms of correspondence format. I was really pulling for Bernadette despite all her flaws (because are we not all flawed? Just in different ways?). I was really pulling for Bernadette and hoping she would be found. As for if she was, you will have to read for yourself to find out.

    People will probably either love it or not, depending on whether or not you can suspend belief while reading it.

    30 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    The bugs in the sample are only in the beginning and are pretty

    The bugs in the sample are only in the beginning and are pretty easy to
    navigate around. Don't let that stop you from reading this, it's very
    enjoyable.

    15 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Technical difficulties

    This was a fun and cute book and I really wanted to buy it, but the sample was so buggy: pages duplicated and/or in the wrong order. I was confused and had to stop reading.

    14 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Fun Read

    I read this as part of an online book club. As such, I was supposed to read it in 4 parts. I couldn't do it. I just kept reading to the end. The author used a style of writing that made me just want to keep reading to find out what came next. It was funny. Some of what the characters experienced was just plain awful(but funny too!) I loved it and would recommend it.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2012

    Pure Pleasure Reading

    So you live in Seattle and you totally get all the satirical references to the “Emerald City” lifestyle. On the other hand, you live, say in Austin, Texas, [armadillos, Whole Foods, Dell Computer and Willie Nelson] and you realize that any dream you may have had about traveling to Seattle, perhaps to live there in retirement, just isn’t worth it. Maria Semple’s novel, “Where’d You Go Bernadette,” mercilessly pans the city [and don’t get her started on Canada!]. Upon opening the hardcover book, you will discover that a child is searching for her mother [Bernadette – said title character] and that said child is a student at Galer Street School: “...a place where compassion, academics, and global connectitude join together to create civic-minded citizens of a sustainable and diverse planet.” The first clue that the book will be a humourous treat to read is the redundancy of the words: “...connectitude join together...” In my opinion, it takes a humor writer of the first water to even conceive of such massive redundancy in the second line of her book. Although a careful reader may wonder why the book opens with a child’s report card [said child Surpasses Excellence in all her studies], the answer is not forthcoming until near the end of the book when the answer to the title question begins to make sense. Until then, the reader is taken on an hysterical ride through other people’s e-mail, private notes, hospital bills, magazine articles as well as: REAL-TIME ¿ FLASH reports. Maria Semple gives us an Epistolary Novel – one told as an exchange of letters – the brilliance of her story telling arises as we enjoy our natural tendency to gossip by reading the private – never meant to be seen in public – mail from one person to another. Mail that paints Bernadette’s and her neighbor’s private and devilish feelings in opposition to their public, virtuous, personas. Bernadette’s husband, a Microsoft Star, gave a TEDTalk that every character in the book reports: “...was the fourth-most watched TEDTalk of all time...!!!” And that, dear review readers, is HOW YOU KNOW that the man is a STAR – there are other clues to his star-status but he is SO NICE one must [if one is the author] find a way to stress his stardom. And, in keeping with the humorous tone of the book, it is necessary to refrain from making him a Gold, Silver or Bronze TEDTalker. Likewise, if it was only the fifth-most watched YouTube-TEDTalk of all time, who would care? So fourth-most watched it is. My recommendation: READ THIS BOOK [and since the e-readers who wrote reviews on this site seem to have had a hard time knowing if the page was turned – see other reviewers on this page] READ A HARDCOVER. I DID. AND I’M GLAD.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2012

    Wonderful!

    Witty, fantastic read. Would love to read a sequel to this! Also, thanks to the reviewer who pointed out that the actual, full-length e-Book isn't buggy like the sample. :)

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    Very good book

    I enjoyed this story very much. Good story, funny and moving.

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    Great book

    Funny, realistic, and touching. I could relate to bernadette and the gnats, it had me laughing so hard at times and then crying the next. Loved it,

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Good story but terrible layout

    This is the worst layout ofan ebook Ihaveeverseen from a book that wasn't free. The publisher should be ashamed. I am going to pick up the print copy from the library to finish it.

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    Fabulous book

    This is a wonderful book; a fun and fast read. The story is told through emails, notes and faxes. If that sounds dry, it's not! Take a chance on this intriguing mystery.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Pretty good book

    I thought it was a good book, fun to read but I thought the ending was a little wierd and abrupt. But over all a good book

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012

    A liitle gem

    I totally fell in love with this gem of a book. Its a story that's a bit far fetched and the characters a bit over the top, but it is that quirkyness wich ultimately gives it so much heart.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Left unsaid...

    Intriguing story, and interesting use of a contemporary techno-style.
    I noticed I had a feeling of empathy for all the characters. I thought the end was somewhat abrupt, and with much of the supportive character situations left unfulfilled, or unanswered. I suppose this creates somewhat of a segue for the next book...?

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    Don't bother

    Couldn't get into this book at all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I don't get it! I bit again based on reviews. Laugh out? I don't

    I don't get it! I bit again based on reviews. Laugh out? I don't think so!!! I kept reading it and in the end and overall it ended ok. This book is only ok. Get it from the library or wait until it sells for $1.99. Reviewers are really screwed up!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Didn't love it

    I have no idea what all the hype about this book was about. It was boring and not at all relatable. The only likable character was the daughter and even she got annoying.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    I loved this book...so well written and funny, touching, ironic,

    I loved this book...so well written and funny, touching, ironic, etc. I agree with one reviewer who said the
    sample was buggy, but the full length book was perfect...all pages in correct order etc. Excellent story!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Delightful and Funny!

    Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a CLUNKER of a title that is belied by an otherwise swiftly plotted novel peopled with charmingly, humorous, and clever narrators. It's a delightful--and very funny!--read! It concerns the disappearance of famous but reclusive architect, the title's Bernadette, and her precocious and beloved daughter, Bee's, determination to find out where her mother has gone. It's an almost-epistolary novel, but information is revealed in all manner of documents the novel which amounts to a kind of scrapbook of Bee's quest. The book is also very much as send-up of Seattle, but by the end, I thought it was kind of a love letter to the city, too. Snarky on the surface, anything but underneath.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    This one had SO much promise! I loved the creative way that it w

    This one had SO much promise! I loved the creative way that it was written, and it was really hard to put down. I don't have a lot of
    critical things to say except I feel like she could have taken the plot line way further and made the book GREAT. I felt like there were
    some dropped story lines that could have been developed, and the ending was a little blah. Overall though it was an intriguing
    and a fun read.   

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2014

    Where¿d You Go, Bernadette? is the second novel by American auth

    Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is the second novel by American author and TV writer, Maria Semple. When Bernadette Fox disappears two days before Christmas and a scheduled family trip to Antarctica, her fifteen-year-old daughter, Bee is determined to track her down. She is sure that her dad, Microsoft guru Elgin Branch, knows more than he’s letting on. And she’s convinced that the shouting match with another school-mom, Audrey Griffiths, was the trigger for the disappearance. Bee’s narration of events is interspersed with emails, notes, a school report, letters, bills, blog posts, announcements, journal articles, a poem, an audio transcript and several faxes, each in a different font and format, and all of which fill in the background facts on incidents and characters. Thus the reader learns about Bernadette’s decline from celebrated young architect to socially anxious semi-recluse, Bee’s precarious early childhood and Elgin’s rise to MS fame, as well as what led to Bernadette’s flight and why the FBI got involved. Semple’s characters develop, and not always in an expected manner: one surprisingly discovers a conscience; another disappointingly gives in to temptation; another metamorphoses, perhaps predictably, from small and benign to large and threatening. They are characters that are familiar from everyday life: the fawning admin, the venomous school mom, the hard-working father, the text-book psychiatrist, the excruciatingly enthusiastic fund-raiser. As Bee trails her mom to the ends of the earth, the full gamut of reactions to loss is depicted. This is a hilarious book that nonetheless touches on some topical issues including work/life balance, trust, identity theft, post-traumatic stress and the best way to remove blackberry bushes. Readers may find some parts bring a lump to the throat, but will spend most of this clever novel laughing out loud. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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