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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette Cover

ISBN13: 9780316204262
ISBN10: 0316204269
Condition: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 18 comments:

Sig_ourney, March 3, 2014 (view all comments by Sig_ourney)
This is easily one of my new favorite books. I love the writing structure (almost exclusively correspondence between various characters with a little narration from Bee thrown in there). With so many differnet persepctives, the readers get to know far more than any one character does. There are definitely enough twists and turns to keep you engaged, personally I didn't want to put it down. I found myself both laughing out loud as well as getting teary eyed. One of my favorite things about this is the resolution I felt at the end. I'm not a big fan of leaving the reader with big questions at the end of the story. None of that here. Questions were answered and everything felt wrapped up. A must read!
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Beverly B, February 9, 2014 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a laugh out loud satire on the thin line between genius and insanity, status obsessed social climbers, and Seattle hipsterism. Told through the eyes of Bernadette's 15 year old daughter, Bee, the reader can see disaster coming long before either Bernadette or Bee. Author, Maria Semple's sharp wit keeps the story from becoming sappy or maudlin even when the events turn grim. Bee's unwavering faith in her mother is heartwarming and sad, but Bernadette's loathing of her Seattle life is hysterical. When Bee turns into a detective after her mother's disappearance, it becomes Bee's coming of age story, and Bernadette's lovingly unorthodox influence on her daughter is evident.
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AnneMarieW, January 5, 2014 (view all comments by AnneMarieW)
Love this book, after picking it up on a whim and knowing nothing about the author. The characters are interesting ; the commentaries on life in Seattle are so funny. Great read.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Elisabeth Scherer, October 13, 2013 (view all comments by Elisabeth Scherer)
I read one of the reviews of this book that compared Ms. Semple to Jane Austen and as I put the book down and think back to it I have to agree with a huge smile. I loved this book, devoured it in less than 12 hours and loved every minute of it. The ending snuck up on me which I always like. It's humorous and endearing and as a fellow Pacific Norwest transplant I connected with Bernadette on so many levels.

Highly recommend this book.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
W S Krauss, September 28, 2013 (view all comments by W S Krauss)
Bee Branch is a middle-schooler in a second tier private school in Seattle. Her mother, Bernadette, was an up-and-coming architect in LA until something happened that ended her dreams and future. Bee's father, Elgin, works at Microsoft, where he is considered a "rock star". After a series of hilarious events, Bernadette disappears. The story of Bernadette's disappearance and how she is found is told through Bee's narration, as well as letters, emails, FBI files, FAXes, transcripts and an emergency room bill. You don't have to be from the Pacific NW to appreciate the biting sarcasm and humor about Seattle culture. The characters are funny, complicated and often transcend their stereotypes. Semple has affection for her characters and ultimately leads them to an emotionally satisfying conclusion.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316204262
Author:
Semple, Maria
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Subject:
Humor : General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English

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Where'd You Go, Bernadette Used Trade Paper
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Product details pages Back Bay Books - English 9780316204262 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A compelling composite of a woman's life and the way she's viewed by the many people who share it. A satisfying caper full of heart."
"Review" by , "The characters in Where'd You Go, Bernadette may be in real emotional pain, but Semple has the wit and perspective and imagination to make their story hilarious. I tore through this book with heedless pleasure."
"Review" by , "Comedy heaven....This divinely funny, many-faceted novel...leaves convention behind. Instead, it plays to Ms. Semple's strengths as someone who can practice ventriloquism in many voices, skip over the mundane and utterly refute the notion that mixed-media fiction is bloggy, slack or lazy....The tightly constructed Where'd You Go, Bernadette is written in many formats — e-mails, letters, F.B.I. documents, correspondence with a psychiatrist and even an emergency-room bill for a run-in between Bernadette and Audrey. Yet these pieces are strung together so wittily that Ms. Semple's storytelling is always front and center, in sharp focus. You could stop and pay attention to how apt each new format is, how rarely she repeats herself and how imaginatively she unveils every bit of information. But you would have to stop laughing first."
"Review" by , "You don't have to know Seattle to get Maria Semple's broadly satirical novel....Underlying the nontraditional narrative are insights into the cost of thwarted creativity and the power of mother-daughter bonds, although a reader may be having too much fun to notice."
"Review" by , "Delightfully droll....Semple...cuts a wry slice of a life — one that's populated by private school helicopter parents, obsessively eco-conscious neighbors, and green-juice swilling, TED-talking husbands — and one that's sharp enough to make us feel slightly relieved about not having to live anywhere quite so bucolic."
"Review" by , "A smart, intelligent, nuanced tale whose characters will stick with you long after you finish the last page."
"Review" by , "One of my favorite books of the fall....Delightfully funny...both antic and droll."
"Review" by , "Smart [and] entertaining."
"Review" by , "Clever, witty and laugh-out-loud funny. And that's a rare and wonderful thing."
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