Aug 15

Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple (Giveaway ends 8/30, Open to US/Canada)

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a new novel by Maria Semple.  Before I tell you more about this book, here’s a summary:

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.

This book is in a different format than usual, with faxes, emails and some narrative from Bernadette’s daughter Bee.  Sometimes I find this way of writing awkward, but Semple does a great job with it and it just plain works with this plot and the characters.  When you look at the fact that Bernadette’s husband is a mastermind at Microsoft, the electronically conveyed portions make even more sense.  After all, who is more apt to use non-traditional forms of writing than the daughter of a man who is a computer marvel?

I found the descriptions of Bee’s school to be absolutely hilarious, especially when juxtaposed next to the description of Seattle’s usual residents – not all the type of fashion and beauty upkeep you would expect from such a pretentious school where the kids go on to boarding schools.

I don’t usually find architecture interesting but this book made it much more so.  I realize it was meant to make it wild and crazy, but it really did make me think more about the design of houses and buildings.

I also enjoyed the foreign virtual assistant aspect.  I have read about these virtual assistants in the past and I find it amusing that Bernadette totally relied on one for everything, even an as a therapist of sorts.

I really enjoyed Where’d You Go, Bernadette and will be checking out more of Maria Semple’s novels.  Do you want to learn more about the book and Maria Semple?  Here’s some links:


The publisher is also supplying 3 copies for me to give away!   To enter, just use the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway is open to US and Canada, 18 and over, no PO boxes – if you don’t have an alternate address to send a prize to, please do not enter.  Contest ends 8/30, 11:59 PM EDT.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given a copy of this book in order to provide a review.  This did not influence my opinion in any way. All thoughts are 100% my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  

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  1. 31
    Rose Wendy

    Congrats to the winners!

  2. 30
    Christy Maurer

    That book sounds really cute! I’d love to read it 🙂 Thanks for doing the review!

  3. 29
    Rose Wendy

    thanks for the review. sounds like the kind of book i like to read.

  4. 28
    Jocelyne Alldrick

    50 Shades!

  5. 27
    James Coyne

    Forever Odd by Dean Koontz

  6. 26
    Barbara R.

    I liked, The Amish Bride (The Women of Lancaster County), by y Mindy Starns Clark, Leslie Gould

  7. 25

    Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. Not New out but new to me!!!

  8. 24
    Jaime Nicole

    I’m not sure when it came out, but I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain.

  9. 23
    Lucy Black

    It sounds very interesting.

  10. 22
    Ed Nemmers

    Anna Quindlen’s “Too Many Candles, Not Enough Cake”!

  11. 21

    Beth Ann Bauman’s JERSEY ANGEL. I couldn’t put it down!

  12. 20
    Caryn S

    I liked The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

  13. 19
    Cathie Shane

    I think my favorite book is Sacajawea. It is a long read but something I can not put down once I start. I have read it several times and the corners of the pages are frayed and tattered from my thumbing through.

  14. 18
    Carla Bonesteel

    I love the Twilight Series…all of them.

  15. 17
    Mike W Davis

    All the Kings men–Narnia Chronicles–theres to many that I have read and reread this year

  16. 16
    Ambrielle Bender

    Spell checked (no certain logic) by C.G. Powell

  17. 15
    Susan @ The Book Bag

    The Healer of Fox Hollow – what an amazing book!

  18. 14
    Jayde Ann Shrew

    my favorites are books by Lavyrle Spencer. especially November of the heart. the setting is my hometown in Minnesota. J Wresh

  19. 13
    Bonnie Yee

    The book sounds different and ver interesting.

    1. 13.1
      Bonnie Yee

      Oops, I enjoyed The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings the most so far this year.

  20. 12
    Kathy P

    Loved Gone Girl

  21. 11
    adrienne warren

    non fiction drift by Rachel Maddow

    Fiction still life with crows by douglas patterson and lincoln childs

  22. 10
    Anita Yancey

    My favorite of the ones I read was Patter of Wonds by J. Mark Bertrand.

  23. 9
    Andrea B.

    My favorite book so far in 2012 was Angel of Thanksgiving by Henry Ripplinger.

  24. 8
    Kathleen Pearlman

    I read so much it’s hard to name a favorite. I won an ARC of Hiss and Hers by M.C. Beaton and I liked it a lot.

  25. 7


  26. 6
    Susan Meyer

    My favorite books have been and always will be Magic Kingdom for Sale Sold series by Terry Brooks.

  27. 5
    Monica Platz

    My favorite was Gone Girl

  28. 4
    Laura Royal

    hunger games

  29. 3
    Mary Ann Woods

    My favorite book so far is Wild.

  30. 2
    Melissa Stoneback-Tuttle

    the hunger games series

  31. 1
    Joy Person

    The Hobbit…..finally read the book. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a very very long time 🙂

  1. 0
    Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop - Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

    […] read a lot of books this year but one stands out to me more than many others.  I reviewed Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple back in August.  While definitely a “different” book, I enjoyed it.  I know […]

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