Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Where'd You Go, Bernadette Book Cover Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Maria Semple
Fiction
Little, Brown
2012-08-14
336

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she'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 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Bernadette is a mom of an extremely intelligent, gifted, and kind young lady.  She is a celebrated architect stunted by personal circumstances.  She is a wife to a well known and highly respected computer intelligence specialist.  She is also a little bit crazy and finds her self facing an array of circumstances not typical, but comical in high society life.

My Verdict:

Where’d You Go Bernadette is written in snippets of email and recorded conversations.  The story is told primarily from the perspective of Bernadette’s daughter.  Bernadette is probably the most oddly, eccentric main character I can remember meeting in quite some time.  The concept of the dysfunctional family is brought to a whole new level.  At times laugh out loud funny and at others ridiculously tragic, the book delivers a fun, off beat read for those  looking for something a little different.

MNO Book Club Verdict:

This is an interesting read with mixed reviews from the group.  The format of story told through brief conversations as opposed to traditional chapters and prose was off putting for some.  Most of us found humor in the book.  All of us enjoyed the concept and are glad we took the time to discuss this book.


 

From the Publisher:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’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 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.