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Where'd You Go, Bernadette
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Promotional Information

'Like A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD written by Tina Fey' The 2013 Women's Prize shortlisted, NEW YORK TIMES bestseller. Includes Reading Group Notes.

About the Author

Maria Semple worked as a television writer in Los Angeles for fifteen years, working on hit shows including Ellen, Saturday Night Live, Mad About You and Arrested Development. Her first novel, This One is Mine, was described as 'shocking, memorable, scathing, funny, delightful, hilarious and exquisite'. She lives in Seattle.

Reviews

It's intelligent but easy to read; eccentric but never twee. * ELLE UK *
I love the extraordinarily well-drawn characters, the plot, the tender, lovely relationship, the humour, and the courage to do daring things -- Nina Stibbe
Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a wonderful piece of satire that pinpoints so many of the flaws in our current society. [Semple's] writing is sharp and witty but also incredibly heart-warming. * DOG EAR DISCS *
It has had a strong hardback life, it's had some great reviews, now it's got to really capture the masses. I normally don't like books written in emails, journals, notes form, and had not realised this was - just as I hadn't realised Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was! This has the same feel, same contagious look, same wacky scenario (well, not quite), same relentless pull. From page one I was smitten, my dislike for emails forgotten. It is the mother/daughter relationship which is so brilliant, that and the character of Bernadette - a prize-winning architect who doesn't realise that what she needs in life is a new project Clever, witty and hugely satisfying * THE BOOKSELLER *
it's a very enjoyable read and the satirical look at modern life * THE BOOKBAG *
Laugh-out-loud funny and bitingly satirical * DAILY EXPRESS *
a breathtakingly original comedy * ES MAGAZINE *
Maria Semple's witty, engaging novel takes the form of a collage of documents, emails, transcripts, liveblogs, FBI reports and magazine articles, all strung together by Bee Branch, a smart and articulate 15-year-old girl, but beneath this surface playfulness is a fascinating story of one woman's retreat from the world...refreshing in its honesty and complexity * THE OBSERVER *
a novel full of honesty and heart * CNN *
The funniest book I've read in a decade. I laughed to the point of crying on an airplane. My wife thought I'd lost my mind until she read it a few days later. -- John Green * MARIE CLAIRE *
an invigorating, hilarious, addictive ride of a novel -- Maggie O'Farrell
Local menace, genius architect, recluse, mother: meet Bernadette Fox and her Mensa-level teenage daughter Bea as they travel from silicon valley-Seattle to Antartica and back again. With the kind of sharp, wish-I-wrote-it dialogue you'd expect from a former Saturday Night Live scriptwriter, this is like Tina Fey wrote Welcome to the Goon Squad. I can't say enough about this book, I loved it. -- Sam Baker * HARPERS BAZAAR *
Witty and compelling. * THE SUN ON SUNDAY *
This fiercely sophisticated novel... whips us around in the maelstrom that is Bernadette Fox: a woman on the edge. * SAINSBURY'S MAGAZINE *
full of quirky charm about the mother/daughter bond * GOOD HOUSEKEEPING *
This novel, shortlisted for the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction, uses email correspondence to hilarious and heartbreaking effect. The disappearance of Bernadette Fox drives the engaging plot, with the mother/daughter relationship across geographical divides at its core * METRO *
When eccentric ex-architect Bernadette goes AWOL, her 15-year-old daughter, Bee, goes all Sherlock and reads her mum's emails for some answers - and a secret past. Surprisingly, I found myself seriously LOLing too. No wonder it's being turned into a movie! * COMPANY *
It is extremely funny, and Semple has a way of combining a technologically savvy, ice-cool wit with a stealthy ability to show gradually a character's warmer side. -- Tom Cox * THE SUNDAY TIMES *
This is an extraordinary novel - a fresh, funny, perceptive voice, and an exhilarating read. * GOOD BOOK GUIDE *
it's refreshing in its honesty and complexity -- Natasha Tripney * THE OBSERVER *
Semple is a TV comedy writer, and the pleasures here are the pleasures of the best American TV: plot, wit and heart. It's refreshing to find a female misunderstood genius at the heart of the book, and a mother-daughter relationship characterised by unadulterated mutual affection. -- Justine Jordan * THE GUARDIAN *
compulsively readable comedy... packed with wit, honesty and charm * MUMSNET *
Refreshing, honest and witty, this novel about motherhood zips and fizzes along, from start to end -- Janine Cook * THE INDEPENDENT '50 Best Beach Reads' *
Delivered from multiple perspectives through letters, telephone calls, magazine articles and emails, it is cleverly plotted and compulsively readable. -- Ian Wall * PROPERTY WEEK *
Semple's exuberant tale is buoyed up by deft plotting and pitch-perfect characters, whose idiosyncrasies and wrong-headed interactions are by turns comic, tender and craven. Excellent stuff. -- James Urquhart * FT *
This light relief on the Women's prize shortlist has warmth and bite in equal measure. Brilliant, troubled Bernadette - a visionary architect who's started a family but lost the plot - is a fantastic creation, and Semple's picaresque comedy, told through letters, emails and even a live blog, skewers the absurdities of American privilege while drawing a heartfelt portrait of mother-daughter love * THE GUARDIAN *
I've been devouring the savagely funny Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. A TV comedy writer, Semple's wide array of targets include parenting, over-achievement, schoolgates rivalry, creativity, Seattle, Canadians, Microsoft, Antarctica and marital love... Semple is funny, smart and deeply touching -- Rowan Pelling * THE DAILY TELEGRAPH *
Where'd You Go, Bernadette is my favorite novel so far this year. It's funnier than a season's worth of Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Justified episodes; it's also the most original and imaginative fiction I've read since The Invention of Hugo Cabret -- James Patterson * NEW YORK TIMES *
...this book is highly enjoyable. -- David Hebblethwaite * FOLLOW THE THREAD *
...wonderfully eccentric * MUMSNET *
This is an extraordinary novel - a fresh, funny, perceptive voice, and an exhilarating read. * GOOD BOOK GUIDE *
This novel, written in the form of emails, notes and phone calls, is original and funny and you'll learn a lot about Antarctica. -- Joanna Czechowska * WOMAN *
An extremely funny and ultimately moving farce about a quirky American family falling apart over a holiday to Antarctica -- Alex von Tunzelmann * EVENING STANDARD *
A dazzling comic novel about a misunderstood architect. It's an eccentric and brilliantly accomplished story with a real screenplay quality to it -- Viv Groskop * THE OBSERVER *
My happy summer holiday book was the funny, quirky and surprisingly moving Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. It's the kind of book you read and want to buy for friends -- Alison Starling * THE GUARDIAN *

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