Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  • by Maria Semple
  • Narrated by Kathleen Wilhoite
  • 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's 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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of my top 10 listens of the year!

Any additional comments?

Like other reviewers said, there is something about this book that makes you feel like a glowing review somehow doesn't do it justice and can't adequately explain why this book is so entertaining and sweet.

Bernadette is a stifled artist who redirects her genius energy with some odd behavior. Elgin is her genius husband who works a little too much and misses some important goings on in his family. Bee is their daughter, a mix of the two--also genius, humorous and insightful. So, how is it that Bernadette goes missing? Well, that's where this book gets really entertaining.

The story is told through emails, letters and documents compiled into a book by Bee and it's a fun read. All of the characters are well written and Kathleen Wilhoitte does a great job of giving them each a distinct voice. It does take a little time to get used to, as she tends to be a little overexcited as Bee and their neighbor, but I really came to enjoy it by the end. You somehow end up loving and sympathizing with every character, even through their mistakes.

I was sad when this one ended!

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- S

Narrator extraordinaire for hilarious tale!

What made the experience of listening to Where'd You Go, Bernadette the most enjoyable?

The excellent narration brought the individual characters to life. I could picture each of the exchanges in emails and encounters as if they were a movie in my head. Reading this book by myself would never have been so entertaining, even though the writing is perfectly crisp and the story line is really funny. I bought this book without knowing anything about it and look forward to my daily walks just to get further along in the story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Without spoiling anything, the scene where the entire hillside of Bernadette's house slips down to crush her neighbor's durning a fundraiser for their children's school. Who knew that blackberry vines could be the only thing holding up a hillside?

Which character – as performed by Kathleen Wilhoite – was your favorite?


Who was the most memorable character of Where'd You Go, Bernadette and why?

Bernadette! You have to listen to her, especially in the email to her former professor in LA. Just buy this book! It is so entertaining!

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- jillian wightman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-14-2012
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio