Author(s): Maria Semple
Bernadette is a frightfully intelligent wife and mother whose intense allergy to Seattle specifically, and to people in general, has driven her to hire a virtual assistant in India to execute even her most basic tasks. Then her daughter, Bee, insists on a family trip to Antarctica as her reward for getting perfect grades in middle school, and Bernadette is faced with the daunting prospect of actual human interaction. The timing could not be worse. Worn down by years of dealing with Seattle's polite drivers, overzealous moms, and proximity to Idaho (and don't even get her started on Canada), Bernadette is already on the brink of a breakdown.
Throw in a feud with her neighbor over Bernadette's rampant blackberry bushes, the scandal that erupts when she runs over another mother's foot at the school's drop-off, and a class fundraiser that goes disastrously awry-and it is all too much. Bernadette vanishes, leaving her Microsoft-guru husband, a horde of angry parents, and questioning police officers to pick up the pieces. Desperate to find her mother, Bee probes her emails, invoices, school memos, private correspondence, and other evidence, conjuring out of those shards a portrait of a woman she never knew before-and a secret that could explain everything.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are. It is also a riotous satire of privilege and an unsentimental but powerful story of a daughter's unflinching love for her imperfect mother.
'Like A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD written by Tina Fey' The hilarious, heart-warming NEW YORK TIMES bestseller. Includes Reading Group Notes.
Winner of Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance 2013. Shortlisted for Women's Prize for Fiction 2013. IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2013.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a wonderful piece of satire that pinpoints so many of the flaws in our current society. [Semple's] writing is sharp and witty but also incredibly heart-warming. DOG EAR DISCS 20130404 It has had a strong hardback life, it's had some great reviews, now it's got to really capture the masses. I normally don't like books written in emails, journals, notes form, and had not realised this was - just as I hadn't realised Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was! This has the same feel, same contagious look, same wacky scenario (well, not quite), same relentless pull. From page one I was smitten, my dislike for emails forgotten. It is the mother/daughter relationship which is so brilliant, that and the character of Bernadette - a prize-winning architect who doesn't realise that what she needs in life is a new project Clever, witty and hugely satisfying THE BOOKSELLER 20130329 it's a very enjoyable read and the satirical look at modern life THE BOOKBAG 20130415
Maria Semple worked in Los Angeles as a television writer for 15 years, working on hit shows including ELLEN, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, MAD ABOUT YOU and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. She lives in Seattle.