Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple


I think I finished this book about a week ago… that might be the longest I’ve ever really gone in waiting to review a book. I’ve been busy, but I think it’s also because I could probably sum up all of my feelings about this book in one word:


So, Bernadette is a really intelligent wife and mother who can’t stand people, so much so that she hires a personal assistant from an outsourcing company in India to do basically everything for her. But when her teenage daughter Bee asks to go on a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for doing good in school, she can’t say no – but this means she’ll have to leave her home and actually spend time around people.

On top of the anxiety of this upcoming trip, her clash with the neighborhood super-moms escalates to a huge scandal about blackberry bushes, her running over someone’s foot, and aΒ big ill-placed sign and eventually Bernadette just cannot deal anymore – she disappears.Β And it leavesΒ her husband, police officers, a psychiatrist, and her daughter all asking “where Bernadette went”.

This novel is really written in the form of emails, newspaper clippings, and eyewitness accounts as Bee tries to put together the pieces and figure out just what caused her Mom to disappear and where she might be. I actually liked the style, it worked pretty well (and that’s a hard thing to pull off). But the story was overall just really odd and outlandish. I read this book in about a day, but not because it was that good… it was more like how you just can’t look away from a car accident. You want to see how bad it is and what happens. But none of the characters was particularly endearing, except for maybe Bee. And everything was just so… weird. And you kind of want to slap everyone.

So yeah. There’s been a lot of buzz about this book, but I don’t get it.


Sarah Says: 2 stars







  1. I started this one a month ago and haven’t made much of a dent in it, too many other books I actually want to read. But since I accepted it for review I need to just get it read. Even if its just ehhh.


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