Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette 1

by Maria Semple

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 25/06/2013

5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
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'Like A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD written by Tina Fey'

The 2013 Women's Prize shortlisted, NEW YORK TIMES bestseller.

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To Elgie Branch, a Microsoft wunderkind, she's his hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled wife. To fellow mothers at the school gate, she's a menace. To design experts, she's a revolutionary architect. And to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, quite simply, mum. Then Bernadette disappears. And Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her.

WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE is a compulsively readable, irresistibly written, deeply touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's place in the world.

ISBN:
9781780221243
9781780221243
Category:
Contemporary fiction
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
25-06-2013
Publisher:
Orion Publishing Co
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
352
Dimensions (mm):
159x203x21mm
Weight:
0.26kg
Maria Semple

Maria Semple worked as a television writer in Los Angeles for fifteen years, working on hit shows including Ellen, Saturday Night Live, Mad About You and Arrested Development.

Her first novel, This One is Mine, was described as 'shocking, memorable, scathing, funny, delightful, hilarious and exquisite'. She lives in Seattle.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • clever and very funny

    by on

    Whered 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 hes letting on. And shes convinced that the shouting match with another school-mom, Audrey Griffiths, was the trigger for the disappearance. Bees 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 Bernadettes decline from celebrated young architect to socially anxious semi-recluse, Bees precarious early childhood and Elgins rise to MS fame, as well as what led to Bernadettes flight and why the FBI got involved. Semples 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.