Sunday, July 14, 2013

Book Review: "Where'd You Go, Bernadette"

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" by Maria Semple
First published in 2012
330 pages
My rating: 4 out of 5
(image source)

I finished this book weeks ago and I'm only now getting around to writing the review. Luckily, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" was quirky and unusual and memorable!

Bernadette is a Seattle wife and mother, a former rising star in the architecture world, resident of a huge old falling-apart girls' reform school, and a recluse. She detests most people -- particularly the other parents at her daughter's private elementary school, whom she refers to as gnats -- and basically the whole wide world. Bernadette's recently hired a virtual assistant in India to do for her all the tasks that might require interaction with society or leaving the house.

But Bernadette and her husband Elgin (a higher-up at Microsoft) promised their very smart daughter, Bee, that if she earned straight A's they'd take a a cruise to Antarctica, one of Bee's passions. Of course, Bee gets perfect grades -- and the impending trip threatens to be the last straw for poor Bernadette.

All this is quite sarcastic and funny and involves blackberry bushes, fishing vests, a bag full of pills, a loony bin and an always-damp dog. But it turns out that Bernadette is the way she is because a huge-awful-thing happened to her once upon a time. Slowly -- and between laughs -- her story is revealed, and there actually is a moral to the tale.

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" was unlike any other book I've read, and you should check it out just for its originality. On top of that, it brought a smile to my face while I was sitting in the waiting room at the emergency vet. And after finishing the book, I added "take Antarctica cruise" to my bucket list. Go ahead, get acquainted with Bernadette. You are almost guaranteed to like her and her eccentric ways!


  1. We'd be delighted to provide you with a tour of Antarctica when you're ready.. :)


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