Where’d You Go, Bernadette? A Book Review

If you’re looking for a book that will keep you entertained from beginning to end, then you need to read Where’d You Go, Bernadette?. This book is a hilarious and heartwarming story about a mother and daughter’s relationship, and it’s one that you won’t be able to put down.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette? A Book Review

Bernadette Fox is brilliant, eccentric, and obsessed with Antarctica. So when she disappears mysteriously, her fifteen-year-old daughter, Bee, goes on a search to find her.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a novel about mothers and daughters, friendship and family, and the importance of finding your own place in the world. It’s funny and warmhearted, with an ending that will leave you wanting more.

If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh out loud and think about the meaning of life, this is it.

The Plot

The Plot

Bernadette Fox is a brilliant architect and loving mother, who suddenly disappears without a trace, leaving her family to pick up the pieces. Her husband and daughter search for her in an effort to piece together the puzzle of her disappearance and find her before it’s too late.

The Characters

The Characters:

1) Bernadette Fox: The protagonist of the story, a very intelligent woman with a dark past who becomes agoraphobic and starts to withdraw from society. She is married to Elgin Branch and has one daughter, Bee.

2) Bee Branch: Bernadette’s daughter, a precocious and intelligent girl who is the only one who can really understand her mother.

3) Elgin Branch: Bernadette’s husband, an incompetent but well-meaning man who is often at a loss as to how to deal with his wife’s eccentricities.

4) Manjula Kapoor: Bernadette’s assistant, a brilliant woman who is always trying to keep her boss from meltdown.

5) Audrey Griffin: Bernadette’s next-door neighbor, a kind and understanding woman who is one of the few people in her life that she can really rely on.

The Setting

The story is set in Seattle, and much of it takes place at the sit-com-esque home that Bernadette and her family live in. The family consists of Bernadette, her husband Elgin, and their daughter Bee. While the family is wealthy, they are far from perfect. Bernadette is a stay-at-home mom who suffers from anxiety and depression, while her husband is a workaholic who often neglects his family. Bee is a bright and precocious child, but she often feels neglected by her parents.

The Writing

The novel is epistolary, made up of correspondence, emails, doctors’ reports, transcripts, legal documents, and so on. There’s also a good bit of dialogue. The style is manic, dizzying, full of digressions and parentheses. It reads like a stream of consciousness—which makes sense, since much of the book is comprised of the inner thoughts of the main character, Bernadette.


The main themes in Where’d You Go, Bernadette? are mental illness, family, friendship, and second chances. The book revolves around the titular character’s battle with agoraphobia and her journey to recovery. Along the way, she learns to confront her fears and rebuild her relationships with her family and friends. The book is ultimately about finding hope and redemption.


In conclusion, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” is a charming and light-hearted read that is perfect for a summer day. Though the plot is fairly simple and the ending is somewhat predictable, the book’s witty writing and lovable characters make it a enjoyable read. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a easy, fun read.


If you are looking for a book that will grab you from the first page and never let go, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is the book for you! This novel, written by Maria Semple, tells the story of Bernadette Fox, a once-famous architect who has disappeared. Told through a series of emails, letters, F.B.I. documents, and even comic strips, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a fast-paced mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery and is not afraid of a little humor.Semple’s writing is witty and sharp, and her characters are fully developed and completely believable. If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh, make you think, and maybe even make you cry, I would highly recommend Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

Further Reading

If you’re looking for something to read after Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, here are a few recommendations:

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – If you enjoyed the quirkiness of Bernadette and the romance of her relationship with Elgie, you’ll love this book about an Asperger’s syndrome professor who goes in search of the perfect wife.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – This hilarious and heartwarming debut novel follows the life of eccentric recluse Eleanor Oliphant as she slowly opens up to the world around her.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – Another novel about an individual with Asperger’s syndrome, this book is told from the perspective of Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old boy who sets out to solve the mystery of his neighbor’s dead dog.

About the Author

Maria Semple became a writer for television sitcoms such as Ellen, Arrested Development, and Mad About You before she wrote her first novel, This One Is Mine. She followed that up with Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, which was an immediate New York Times bestseller. Her writing has been called “wickedly funny” by The Wall Street Journal and “effortless and extraordinarily funny” by Entertainment Weekly. Maria Semple lives in Seattle with her family.

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