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Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Contemporary fiction

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

by Maria Semple

Quick take

A wacky mother-daughter tale that shifts between hilarious and heart-wrenching.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Quirky

    Quirky

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Puzzle

    Puzzle

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy

    Buzzy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NowAMovie

    Now a movie

Synopsis

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect; and to 15-year-old Bee, she is her best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette vanishes. It all began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and surprisingly touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

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