One of our Books of the Year 2013.
Winner of The Melissa Nathan Award For Comedy Fiction About Life and Love 2013.
I don’t like books written in emails, journals, notes etc and had not realised this was, just as I hadn’t realised Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was! This has the same feel, same contagious look, same wacky scenario (well not quite), same relentless pull. From page one I was smitten, my dislike for emails forgotten. It is the mother/daughter relationship which is so brilliant, that and the character of Bernadette – a prize-winning architect who doesn’t realise that what she needs in life is a new project. Clever, witty and hugely satisfying.
July 2013 Debut of the Month.
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013.
The Lovereading view...
A "Piece of Passion" from the Arzu Tahsin, Deputy Publishing Director, Weidenfeld and Nicolson Fiction...
'It’s the sort of novel that you can’t wait to finish and then feel bereft when you have. It is also an extremely satisfying novel to give to friends and family while you can guarantee they’ll love it too. I don’t think I’ve read anything as irresistibly funny or deeply poignant for a very long time. Bernadette is a wonderful character and there is something of her in us all which is why I found her so compelling. She puts her family under a lot of pressure, but there is something about Bernadette that keeps them on her side. She is a delightful conundrum, and her daughter Bee adores her unconditionally. So, when Bernadette disappears and her husband appears to have reached the limits of his compassion, it is left to Bee to try and find her. And then the novel plunges into a journey to the wild seas and devastating chills of Antarctica. But redemption is a very distant location and almost a hard to navigate as Antarctica itself.
I can promise that it is almost impossible to put this book down.'
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To Elgie Branch, a Microsoft wunderkind, she's his hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled wife. To fellow mothers at the school gate, she's a menace. To design experts, she's a revolutionary architect. And to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, quite simply, mum. Then Bernadette disappears. And Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her. WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE is a compulsively readable, irresistibly written, deeply touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's place in the world.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
'A fresh, flamboyantly witty new voice'
'A delightfully funny book, that constantly catches one by surprise, Where'd You Go, Bernadette combines a shrewdly observed portrait of Seattle life with, of all things, a mysterious disappearance in Antarctica. A pleasure'
Matthew Kneale, author of English Passengers
'Where'd You Go, Bernadette is fresh and funny and accomplished, but the best thing about it was that I never had any idea what was going to happen next. It was a wild ride...'
'Maria Semple dissects the gory complexities of familial dysfunction with a deft and tender hand. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a triumph of social observation and black comedy by a skillful chronicler of moneyed malaise.'
Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers
'Bernadette is unconventional, slightly eccentric and very out spoken, which ensures for hilarious results as she lives in a typical American community. This book is a fine and very funny example of how conventional and socially conditioned people are and what can happen when one person refuses to obey society's rules. A witty, engaging and enjoyable read.'
Suz & Jaydee (Book-shelf)
Publication date: 04/07/2013
Publisher: Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
Publication date: 07/06/2012
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
|Publication date:||4th July 2013|
|Publisher:||Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co|
|Genres:||Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Maria Semple worked as a television writer in Los Angeles for fifteen years, working on hit shows including Ellen, Saturday Night Live, Mad About You and Arrested Development. Her first novel, This One is Mine, was described as 'shocking, memorable, scathing, funny, delightful, hilarious and exquisite'. She lives in Seattle. Author photo © Elke Van de VeldeMore About Maria Semple