book pick
Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
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Maria Semple

Little, Brown and Company


336 pages
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12 January, 2013
Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
Maria Semple
About the Book


When was the last time that you belly laughed out loud when you read a novel? Read WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE a debut novel by Maria Semple-- and you'll both laugh and suspend disbelief, all at once. Semple first had a career writing for TV, and she wrote for "Ellen," "Mad About You," and "Arrested Development." The setting, Seattle, is as much a character as the characters, so many one-liners-- so much relevant perception! Semple skewers Seattle: " There are two hairstyles here: short gray hair and long gray hair." Bernadette moves to Seattle from LA; her husband, Elgin, is a Microsoft exec and her precocious daughter Bee is in elementary school. "Elgie ended up loving it here. Who knew that our Elgin had a bike-riding, Subaru-driving, Keen-wearing alter ego just waiting to bust out?" This book could take place in any corporate suburb, and it was particularly interesting to me to find a female, misunderstood genius at the heart of this novel. I've recommended this to lots, and everyone has loved it. You will too!

About the Author

Maria Semple's first novel, This One is Mine, was set in Los Angeles, where she also wrote for television shows including Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. She escaped from Los Angeles and lives with her family in Seattle, where her second novel takes place.

Beyond the book

“An uproarious comedy of manners.” – Mark Haddon People