Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where'd You Go, Bernadette” as Want to Read:
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt* *Different edition

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  278,541 Ratings  ·  29,689 Reviews
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:
...more
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 10 pages
Published August 14th 2012 by Hachette Audio (first published 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where'd You Go, Bernadette, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Mary I like little or no profanity, so my opinion is that it is medium to high. There were 5-6 F words, and scattered other words. If someone isn't very…moreI like little or no profanity, so my opinion is that it is medium to high. There were 5-6 F words, and scattered other words. If someone isn't very sensitive to hard language, it doesn't really matter how many there are (within reason), does it? If they are, any F word is too much.(less)
Layne The only thing it has in common with Gone Girl is a troubled woman who goes missing. The style and mood are totally different. This is more…moreThe only thing it has in common with Gone Girl is a troubled woman who goes missing. The style and mood are totally different. This is more comedy/satire.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Jessica
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
Read this for a second time for a new book club, and I loved it just as much as I did the first time.

A douche canoe that I (probably shouldn't have) dated for a couple months a few years ago once told me that I didn't like Glee because I didn't understand satire. I'd like to hand him this book and say, "Suck on it, asshat. This is satire."

I suppose that's an entirely different story. The point is, I loved this book. It's sharp, witty, heartwarming, and entirely entertaining. Of course, it came f
...more
Patrick
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just found this book in my luggage recently, I read it while traveling a while back, and never got around to recording it here. (This happens a lot...)

I'm hesitant to assign a star rating here (more hesitant than usual) Not only did I read this months ago, but the genre isn't one that I spend a lot of time reading.

But where *do* I rank it? I know it didn't anger or disappoint me in any way (I'd remember that) but neither did I feel the need to rush on here and review it, or force it on any of my
...more
Travis Fortney
What we have here is a satirical epistolary novel about a bunch of whiny one percenters in Seattle.

Ms. Semple is sending up Seattle elites, which here seem to be typified by Bernadette's husband Elgie, a granola eating, public transport using, bike riding, Microsoft employee with a genius IQ. She also sets her sights on the students and parents of a Montessori-style preparatory school. I don't feel a particular need to explain what happens, because it's pretty well-traveled stuff.

Where BERNADE
...more
Ashley
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Well, let this be a lesson to those who would open their mouths and spew venom into the world. I once wrote very publicly and loudly on this here Goodreads that I could never love a satire -- don't even remember which book I was reviewing*. The point is, this book has made me eat my words. This fucking book, man. I loved it. It's my cheese, my oreo cookie, my soft blanket on a cold winter's night, my let's pack everything up and head out for an adventure because FUCK YEAH WE'RE ALIVE. I'm so gla ...more
Raeleen Lemay
For the first time ever, I'm going with the Goodreads-appointed rating system. This book was simply "OK", therefore I am giving it 2 stars. I didn't hate it or anything, but it really didn't do anything for me.

I didn't find it funny (or all that quirky to be quite honest), and the characters were all a bit bland. I was also disappointed that what I had originally thought was the whole point of the book (Bernadette disappearing right before a trip to Antarctica) didn't even happen until way later
...more
Fabian
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Simply put: READ THIS, or you WILL have a supremely LAME life. I solemnly swear...

Yup, this is a total classic--a brilliant novel that the critics have hailed as impossibly LOL fuhu-nny.

But I simply must add on to this (and this is why this has been the best novel I've read since "The Art of Fielding"): truth is, it will make you cry. Bawl-like-a-baby cry... over the disappearance of this unique individual. Finding her is the main objective in this crazy mixed-media project.

"Where'd You Go, Be
...more
Richard Derus
Pearl Ruled

2017 UPDATE If you can even imagine such a thing, Richard Linklater is filming this craptastic insult to the word "chick lit"...in PITTSBURGH!!! No, no one'll notice it's not Seattle. It will be in theaters Mother's Day 2018, which is yet another belt in the chops to women everywhere.

Rating: 1.6* of five (p97)

The Publisher Says: 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 disgr
...more
Lormac
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is a new genre of contemporary fiction in which believability is thrown out the window in favor of wacky plot machinations, but which is not satire because the emotions of the characters are too real. (See also, "This Is Where I Leave You.")

When her daughter was born with a heart condition which gave her skin a blueish hue, Bernadette Fox named her daughter, Balakrishna Branch, because the Indian God, Krishna, is blue and the name means "child Krishna." Wacky, huh?!! (In case you were wond
...more
Steve
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I figure my best hope of getting more readers than the Cubs have victories is to mention straight away Maria Semple’s bona fides as a satirist. So here it is: she wrote for Arrested Development. Her talent for skewering plays out well in book form, too, as it turns out. Bernadette, the protagonist, is creative, whip-smart, and now that her daughter, Bee, is past some pretty serious childhood health issues, able to devote herself almost entirely to snarky send-ups. The targets are primarily from ...more
Rich
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book about Seattle "Subaru Parents" describes my life so chillingly accurately that I am now absolved of writing my own book about their Portland-counterparts' bat-shit antics. Favorites: "Suddenly, Audrey Griffin started running toward the car all stiff and out of rhythm. You could just tell she hadn't run in about ten years." -22. "Perhaps because we both went to prep school and Ivy League universities ourselves, we did not fetishize them like other Seattle parents." -43. "Wooowww," Audre ...more
Paige
Mar 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, this book. You see that one star rating? It earned the single star by being mildly engrossing. I know I usually use the word "engrossing" in a positive way, to convey that a book was compelling and interesting, fascinating and exciting. Here I mean that it was just, somehow, able to hold my attention. Not even interest, really, just attention. Somehow. I don't know how. Well I guess this is how: it was entertaining in a way, and it definitely had a certain readability about it. I'm kind of ...more
Lola  Reviewer
Wow, okay. This is not the book I expected to read. The blurb makes it seem like it’s a ‘‘laugh-out-loud-worthy’’ mystery novel about a mother who disappears and a daughter who moves mountains to find her mom.

Sure, that does happen… in the last 3/4 of the book. Before that, it’s around 250 pages of random, (sometimes) unnecessary e-mail exchanges, some of them between characters that we don’t even care for—at least, I didn’t—as well as numerous anecdotes and mishaps.

They do somehow contribute to
...more
Luffy
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was overwhelmed by what transpires in the book. So much happens. Pow. Pow. Relentlessly (for most of the book). There is no breathing space, no lull. The story is so domineering that we are caught unawares when the book ends.

Benadette Fox and her family paint a ludicrous picture of her household. Most of the characters are half mad and Bernadette and her daughter Bee lead the way to Lala Land. Here, more actually, to Antarctica. Hijinks ensues. I do think that Maria Semple was inspired by vari
...more
Jaidee
May 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that watch the housewives of bullshit ave.
1.5 "whatever~~" stars..


.Maria Semple is a very clever, clear and concise writer which are all really good attributes....however this book was beyond disappointing.....it was at the upper end of "crap".....two dimensional caricatures behaving so horribly and uncomprehendingly towards each other....each character was more unlikeable than the last not in some interesting and insightful way (the Casual Vacancy comes to mind in its psychological empathic brilliance) but in a way that makes you fear
...more
Nataliya
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
Even on the busiest call nights at work, the phrase that never fails to grab my attention regardless of whatever else I may be doing is, "I hear you like reading. Have you ever read _____?"

That's how I first heard about Where'd You Go, Bernadette. The call night was painfully slow, the wifi was actually working, the Kindle app on my phone was begging for a free sample which turned out to be hilarious, my brain was headed into the 22nd hour of being awake, and the impulse buy predictably happened
...more
Rebbie
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
4 1/2 magnificent stars!!

Another fitting name could be: How Bernadette Got Her Groove Back :p

Bernadette Fox, a wealthy agoraphobe with a teenage daughter and a semi-absentee (emotionally, anyhow) husband, quite literally disappears before taking off on a family trip to Antarctica.

Oh, how fun it is to dislike the witch on wheels (aka the Gnat), Audrey, who then morphs into a slightly-imbalanced but milder version of Bernadette. In my mind, this makes her downright loveable!

The character who is t
...more
Meg
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book that I have read in a long while. Is five stars sort of ambitious? IT WOULD BE EXCEPT THIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK I HAVE READ IN A LONG LONG WHILE. So five stars, I don't care, five stars. Oh my gosh I don't even know where to start you guys. It's funny, but that's not just it. It's incredibly well-written, but that's not just it. It's got a really fun structure that is executed really well, but that's not just it, either!

It's just, I feel like this might be one of the bes
...more
Julie Christine
I wasn’t planning to crack the cover of Where’d You Go, Bernadette. In fact, I actively resisted reading 2012’s sleeper hit. It has all the makings of something that would send me searching for that elusive “dislike” button. Social satire: Ugh. Chick lit affect (entirely and unfairly due to cover art): Ugh Ugh. Epistolary format with multiple points-of-view (tricksy, metafiction, “I’m a WRITAH” stuff): Ugh Ugh Ugh. Spoofy, anti-Seattle drivel penned by interloper from Southern California (haven’ ...more
Debbie "DJ"
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feel-good, own
What a fun read to begin the new year! I resisted reading this for quite some time, as I generally like a deeper read. Yet, right from the beginning the peculiarities of Seattle and Microsoft were sprinkled in through the story. Hmm, I have a Goodreads friend who lived there and worked at Microsoft. Now I know why she's the crazy nut she is (you know who you are.)

I loved how the story was often told through emails between the characters, interspersed with the main character, a teenage girl name
...more
Suzanne
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first heard about this book, it sounded as though it might be just a story whose main point was to disparage Seattle. But although there is humor in the book that might seem to be at the expense of Seattle in particular, it could have been set any number of places. The main character, Bernardette, does go off on some diatribes, but it’s nothing more than the sort of complaining any urban dweller might do in any number of big cities. The books lampoons institutions such as private schools ...more
Isabel Allende
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where'd you go Bernardette, by Maria Semple is simple a riot of a
book. I laughed so uncontrollably in the plane that some passengers
complained. A Seattle teenage girl tells the story of how and why her
eccentric mother, who has alienated everybody around her, including
her Microsoft geek of a husband, ends up lost in Antarctica. Not to
miss if you need to get over a bout of depression.
Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Nevisande : Maria Semple - ISBN : 316204277 - ISBN13 : 9780316204279 - Dar 330 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2012
Glenn Sumi
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted the last book I read in 2015 to be special, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette fit the bill, despite the obvious “chicklit” cover. (More on the cover below.)

The book was sweet but not saccharine, full of darkly funny humour but also a real warmth. And it introduced me to two unforgettable characters: Bernadette, a frustrated, mildly agoraphobic mother and former rising star architect, and Bee, her tiny, precocious daughter who was born with a congenital heart condition.

Initially I found the
...more
Michelle
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun to read novel, hard to put down, but not totally satisfying. It rattles along at a fast clip, told in the form of emails and reports, about a Seattle family. The locations - Seattle and Antarctica - seem to be as important as the characters.

Bernadette is a stay at home mother who is remarkably anti social. She has no friends and doesn't like leaving the house, hiring an online virtual assistant based in India to carry out very simple chores. Her husband Elgie is a salt of the earth type, b
...more
Oriana
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Oriana by: L Magazine
I came home from a lovely late dinner and was heading to the computer because there are so many things I have to do before I go back to work on Wednesday. But I thought first I'd make a quick cup of tea to shore me up, and while the water was boiling I figured I'd just read for a sec—and before I knew it I was on the couch under a comforter eating an entire bag of kettle corn and an hour had passed and I was turning the final pages of this delightful little gem.

About the book: It's a blackish li
...more
Whitney Atkinson
I'm left very confused by this book. I think the main issue here is that I thought this book would be totally different, but regardless, I can't wrap my head around this one. People say it's humorous, but to me, it read like a satire and I was feeling left out by the joke. The "humorous" situations were over the top and insanely dramatic, which felt very fake to me. This book just seemed unreal; I couldn't connect to anyone or anything. I liked the audiobook a lot, but it reminded me of Beauty Q ...more
Diane S ☔
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an absolutely original, inventive and humorous novel, I can't remember the last time I read a novel that caused me to laugh out loud. Bernadette is a definite original, someone I wish I knew in real life. Yet, there are poignant moments, serious self realizations come to the surface and her daughter Bee is an absolute delight as well. Who knew you could form complete characters from e-mails, letters etc. yet in this book Semple does it and does it well. Definitely recommend.
Robert
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: robert-s-reads
Bernadette Fox might just be the craziest person I have never met. If she consumed enough “happy” pills to actually become a fully-functioning member of society, she’d end up comatose from an overdose and spend the next six years of her life breathing through a respirator. Calling her eccentric gives Randy Quaid, Charlie Sheen, and Courtney Love a bad name. Or to put it another way, Bernadette Fox makes Adrian Monk look like Tom Brady.

Audrey Griffin needs to be treated with electric shock therap
...more
Hilary
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The words “former writer for Arrested Development” are some of the greatest words any author can have in their bio – so great, in fact, that they trump “former writer for Mad About You,” even if they’re in the same sentence. The basic premise – the search for an acerbic rant-prone mother who hates Seattle (and leaving the house) who has mysteriously disappeared (or else it’d be a short search and probably titled something like “Try checking the living room”) – also sounded potentially fun, and i ...more
Lewis Weinstein
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
I did not expect to like this book, but I had to read it, since it is our book club selection this month.

Was I ever surprised? It is a delightful read, with just enough tension and emotion, but mainly built on humor, clever writing, an innovative plot, and an ingenious style. Top that with a very moving mother-daughter relationship and a good-natured poke at Microsoft, and this is a definite winner.

Anything more I might say would spoil the read. 5*****

I can add, however, that Maria Semple is one
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Wife 22
  • One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season
  • The Newlyweds
  • Glaciers
  • May We Be Forgiven
  • Amy Falls Down  (Amy Gallup, #2)
  • Beautiful Ruins
  • The Chaperone
  • The Last Word (The Spellmans, #6)
  • The Death of Bees
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home
  • The Middlesteins
  • Domestic Violets
  • This is Where I Leave You
  • Arcadia
  • Building Stories
  • We Only Know So Much
  • By Blood
1588088
Maria Semple's first novel, This One is Mine, was set in Los Angeles, where she also wrote for television shows including Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. She escaped from Los Angeles and lives with her family in Seattle, where her second novel takes place.
More about Maria Semple...
“That's right,' she told the girls. 'You are bored. And I'm going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it's boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be.” 482 likes
“My heart started racing, not the bad kind of heart racing, like I'm going to die. But the good kind of heart racing, like, Hello, can I help you with something? If not, please step aside because I'm about to kick the shit out of life.” 278 likes
More quotes…