Book review: “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”


Book title: “Kuhu sa küll kadusid, Bernadette?” / “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”

Author: Maria Semple

Publication year: 2014

Number of pages: 340

Format: paperback

Personal copy

Amount of stars I gave on Goodreads: 4.5☆


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 was good. I was actually very surprised by how much I liked this book.

The satire was real with this one, but I gotta say I really had a hard time liking the characters. They just seemed too stupid and stuck up, while still managing to make me laugh and enjoy the story.

It seemed a little slow at first, since the main idea behind the book- the disappearing of Bernadette- happened in the end actually.

The way the book was put together was that it was compiled of letters and emails and articles, while in between it sometimes had notes, ideas and explanations of the daughter, Bee.

I hated Audrey. Really hated her. She was the annoying lady next doors who was so certain that her life and everything she did was right and perfect. I hate people like that. The lies and the ego were just too much and I found myself every once in a while groaning at Audrey’s selfishness.

Bernadette was the kind of character who you also might not like in the beginning and maybe not even in the end, but at some point you do enjoy her presence. I liked how at some points it seemed like she was just absent-minded and then a little while later it seemed like she was off the roof crazy.

Elgin and Bee were great characters, but it did seem like they didn’t have any personality. They were fun and nice, but also made me groan at times because of all the drama and frustration.

Overall I am really happy I decided to get this book and give it a go. It was really interesting and fast paced, I would one day love to read it in English maybe, so I could understand some things better.

A nice and light book with just a hint of humour and mystery.

Check the book out on Goodreads right here.


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