Bethany's Readers' Advisory

The place to go for readers' advisory on books for children, teens, and adults

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple November 9, 2012

When her 15-year-old daughter announces she’d like to go on a family trip to Antarctica, life takes a turn for Bernadette.  She hates Seattle and is content staying home, away from people.  Bernadette hires a virtual assistant in India to make arrangements for the trip and to stop her pesky neighbor’s nagging about their yard.  When a harmless prank against said neighbor goes wrong, it starts of chain of events unknown to anyone until it’s too late.  When Bernadette disappears, her daughter Bee collects a paper trail of information to try to find her mother.

After an interview with the author on NPR and a review in Entertainment Weekly, I was chomping at the bit to read this book.  It was just as bizarre and interesting as I thought it would be.  Told in somewhat of an epistolary format through emails, conversations, faxes, and Bee’s narration, the reader learns about Bernadette’s hatred of Seattle, her past as a famous architect, her pesky “gnat” neighbors, and the culmination of events that leads to her disappearance.  Quirky, funny, sad, intriguing.

5 out of 5 stars


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