Friday Reads: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Friday Reads

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Reads! Today I am sharing  a few quotes from Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I am listening to the audio version and it is definitely a quirky story.

Book Beginnings is a book meme hosted by Rose City Reader where participants share quotes (the first sentence, or so) of the book, along with initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and the rules are quite simple: Grab a book, any book, and turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader. Find any non-spoilery sentence(s) and post.


Friday Reads: Where’d You Go, BernadetteTitle: Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Author: Maria Semple
Narrator: Kathleen Wilhoite
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication Date: August 14, 2012

Summary (from Goodreads):

A compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

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.

Amazon “Book


The movie adaptation of this book is coming out close to Mother’s day, so I am listening in the hopes of seeing it soon. I am not sure if I enjoy the narrator or not. However, the character of Bernadette is an eccentric woman who reminds me quite a bit of Larry David for some reason.


“You don’t remember?” I said. “You told me when I started Galer Street that if I got perfect grades the whole way through, I could have anything I wanted for a graduation present.”

“I do remember,” mom said. “It was to ward off further talk of a pony.”

“That’s what I wanted when I was little,” I said. “But now I want something different. Aren’t you curious what it is?”

Friday 56

About Maria Semple

image of Maria Semple
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.

26 thoughts on “Friday Reads: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

  1. Jenny B says:

    I have wanted to read this one, too! I might have to listen to that audiobook. I think that I kind of like that narrator. LOL

  2. Jaime Lester says:

    This actually sounds quite intriguing. And I am a fan of the cover. Now I am going to check out the movie trailer!

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