Baxlala’s #CBR5 Review #6: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

where'd you goI read Where’d You Go, Bernadette because Ashley told me to. So many of my reviews seem to start this way. But it’s true, I wouldn’t have known about this book if Ashley hadn’t talked and talked and talked (I LOVE YOU, ASHLEY) about it so much.

I’m not sure that I loved it as much as Ashley did, but I sure did enjoy it. I devoured it, really, not wanting to put it down until I’d finished it and, honestly, I would have read another ten volumes had they existed, as long as they were about the same family and written in the same style.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is about a family of three (four, counting Ice Cream, their dog): Elgin, the work-a-holic husband and father, Bernadette, the reclusive and socially anxious wife and mother, and Bea, their precocious daughter. Bernadette is an enigma to her husband, who works for Microsoft and mostly ignores Bernadette’s rants and rampages. Bernadette spends most of her time avoiding the mothers (aka “gnats”) of the other children at Bea’s school, especially her neighbor, Audrey. Which you will understand as soon as you “meet” Audrey.

I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by telling you that Bernadette goes missing at one point. I mean. It’s all in the title, really. Bea is determined to find her and drags her unknowing father along for the ride. IT IS DELIGHTFUL. And not only is it delightful, but it will make your heart hurt in very specific ways, which is always nice because how else would you know you have feelings?


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Oh, hey, so I started this review a million years ago and, not only did I think I’d finished it already, but I thought I posted it, too. It turns out that NO I did not post it because here I am, just posting it now. It’s been about a month or so since I finished Where’d You Go, Bernadette, so some of the novelty has worn off, but I will say that I still remember it vividly, which is more than I can say about most books a month after I’ve read them.

So, yeah. Just read it. It doesn’t take long and ALSO Ashley recommended it. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED? A picture of a baby penguin? OK FINE:


10 thoughts on “Baxlala’s #CBR5 Review #6: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

      • I don’t watch it! I didn’t like the first episode but keep meaning to watch more (because I didn’t like The New Girl after one episode and now I’m at the point where I’m watching the same episode multiple times in one night LIKE A CRAZY PERSON), especially because I saw Mark Duplass has been on it and I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. Anyway, yes, penguins.

      • It’s still finding its legs for the most part, but there have been a couple of episodes where I almost died laughing, so I’m sticking it out to see what happens. They’re going through a bunch of casting stuff right now trying to find the right mix and the right way to use all the characters. My favorite character didn’t get added until episode 3 I think? so you wouldn’t have met him yet. He’s the guy who said the thing about the penguins.

  1. Great review. Love your use of gifs. This book is on my TBR-list specifically because Narfna/Ashley rated it highly last year. I have come to realize that she and I like a lot of the same books, so if she’s enthusiastic about something I haven’t read yet, it’s probably something I should find time to read. Of course, I’m currently dealing with a TBR mountain, so I don’t always get round to books as quickly as I’d like.

    • Also, ditto on the checking out books thing. I’ve put a couple on my list solely because you’ve reviewed them and I usually agree with you about books.

    • My TBR pile is also mountainous, which is both reassuring and unsettling. And I keep buying more books. I have a problem.

      • I know exactly how you feel. I did a count just before New Year’s, and I bought over a hundred new books in 2012. Then there are the ones I got as gifts. I’ve already bought 17 books this year (although 5 are academic text books that I need for my coursework). At least most of the books I buy now are digital, so I don’t have to worry about where to store them.

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