Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
- Where'd You Go, Bernadette is told from the point of view of a
daughter trying to find her missing mother. Why do you think
the author chose to tell the story from Bee's perspective? What
light does it shed on the bond between Bernadette and Bee?
- What are your thoughts on Bernadette's character? Has she
become unhinged or has she always been a little crazy? What, if
anything, do you think sent her over the edge? Have you ever had
a moment in your own life that utterly changed you, or made you
call into question your own sanity?
- When Bernadette relocates from Los Angeles to Seattle, she
must cope with being a transplant in a new city. Have you ever
moved, or even stayed put but switched jobs, and had to adjust
to an entirely different culture? What was it like?
- The idea of going to Antarctica becomes too much for an already
frazzled Bernadette to bear, but the trip itself, surprisingly, turns
out to be exactly what she needs to get back on track. How do
other characters in the novel experience their own breakthroughs? Which character is most transformed?
- How are Audrey Griffin and Bernadette Fox more alike than
- Bernadette often behaves as if she is an outsider. Do you think
she is? If so, do you think her feelings of being an outsider are
self-imposed, or is she truly different from the other members of
her community? Do you ever feel like an outsider?
- The book has a very playful structure. Do you think it works?
Why do you think the author chose it rather than a more
straightforward, traditional structure? Think about other books
with unusual structures and how their formats influenced your
- What do you think of Bernadette and Elgie's marriage? Is it dysfunctional? Is there real love there? How has their marriage
changed over time? Think about romantic relationships you've
been in that have evolved, positively or negatively, and why.
- Where'd You Go, Bernadette is, at its core, a story about a woman
who disappears, both literally and figuratively. Were you able to
relate to the book? How and why? Do you feel Bernadette's disappearance was unique, or do all women, in a sense, disappear
into motherhood and marriage?
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Little Brown & Company.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.