Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Thoughts wygbbyms Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple; Little, Brown and Company 2012, 337 pages – ebook

pinkpenguin This photo is of a Pink Penguin cocktail which is featured in the Bernadette story; I think it looks quite yummy.  Just click on the image and it will take you to the recipe at Nerd Meets Food. My book club chose this for September and I hope it is a hit. I wish we were meeting in a place that would likely have the ingredients to make the cocktail but something tells me I’m wishful-thinking.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  I don’t even think I can tell you. I am at a blank of how much to share.  It was not quite what I expected so maybe it’s good not to know too much. But do know I really enjoyed following Bernadette around to parts unknown — even if she was a snarky prickly but also too-trusting opinionated stylishly-dressed agoraphobe who lived in a house returning back to nature. A lot of this could be said to be totally silly but it was just OH SO FUN! I laughed out loud a lot. It had many wise and tender moments, too.

It was just the book I needed while taking a break from the horrors of surviving a life in North Korea. (The Orphan Master’s Son.) Actually, both of these books had elements I love:  satire, quirky characters, over the top craziness, heartfelt connections, the questioning and the wondering of personal choices, new facts about the world, etc. They have very different settings and cultural experiences, obviously. But both explore the concept of humanity, I think. Survival, freedom, choices. What IS freedom? Are you trapped or do you risk asking yourself such? Ah, questions, questions, questions…

I have read many wonderful posts about Bernadette, so if I’ve piqued any interest, I suggest you click on the book cover to go to goodreads or read this review from Avid Reader Melissa or this one from Rhapsody Jill or this one from Athira who is Reading on a Rainy Day.

I rate this four slices of pie: fourpie



Upcoming: my thoughts on The Orphan Master’s Son.  Have I piqued any interest for that, too? Which would you rather read and why? 

Also, if you are a LibraryThinger, I just joined:  you can find me as BkClubCare.


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32 thoughts on “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

  1. I enjoyed this one so much! It wasn’t what I was expecting exactly, it had a lot more heart. I think it can be difficult to balance that with humor. I’m curious about The Orphan Master’s Son now too!

  2. I have the audio for Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and I just have to load it on the iPod. It’s going to be my very next listen! The cocktail does look yummy, and I’ll try to look you up on LibraryThing. (It’s not easy to find people on there sometimes.)

    1. True, if I didn’t follow the link from the email notices, I don’t think I would figure out how to accept any friendships. I certainly haven’t yet figured out how to find people.

  3. I also had many laugh out loud moments in this one. But here’s the weird thing – my husband read it too, and had laugh out loud moments too, but they were ALL different than mine! Weird, yes? (or, just goes to show you enough funny moments for all kinds of readers! LOL)

  4. I love this book because it’s delightful but also because of the same sort of thing you say–it’s a lovely break from all the miseries out there. It’s funny when everything’s going your way, and it’s also funny when you’re sitting in someone else’s hospital room feeling awful. Lovely Maria Semple. I should write her a note of appreciation.

  5. I really want to read this one – I’ve come close to buying it recently. I think I will make it my weekend read, this weekend. Love your review, I like finding books that are filled with quirky characters and situations and laughter.

    I like the comparison with a book I will probably never read, too – The Orphan Master’s Son.

  6. My club read it, but I missed the meeting (vacation). I liked it okkkkkk but didn’t find it as uproarious as apparently a lot of people did! I thought it had a lot of funny moments, but I kept thinking, ‘this would make a better movie than a book.’ which is a rare thing, of course!

    1. That’s OK, sometimes they hit right and sometimes not. My club seemed to like the Mermaid in Brooklyn and I really did NOT – it was supposedly comparable to the Bernadette book.

  7. Vanessa Zielinski

    I read this book in one day! Yes, all 326 pages in one day, and I absolutely loved it! I was so drawn in by the characters and the drama and their point of views..

    But I have a question! I read this book for school and I now have to pick what the theme is of the book and pick a movie with a similar theme. I felt this book had many themes and I can’t seem to grasp which one was most prominent.. And which movie to watch! I would love your opinion on this! Thanks!

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