BookBrowse Reviews Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette

A Novel

By Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette
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  • Hardcover: Dec 2012,
    336 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2013,
    352 pages.

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, an endlessly funny romp with surprising depth beneath its surface, is about a genius mother and her daughter in an absurd world.

The good people of Seattle might find something "hinky" about Bernadette Fox, the protagonist in Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette? As the story opens, Bernadette is a stay-at-home mom, always hiding behind dark glasses. She hates to mingle with the parents at her daughter Bee's private school, refers to the pesky school moms as "gnats," can't stomach how parking in Seattle is an elaborate eight-step procedure – and she detests the five-way intersections the city seems to be full of.

But it turns out there's a reason for Bernadette's general malaise, and it's not just Seattle's incessant rain. Long before the precocious Bee was born with a heart defect (and after five miscarriages), Bernadette and her genius husband, Elgie, lived in sunny Los Angeles where Bernadette was an up-and-coming architect. One of the pioneers of the green building ...

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