Book Club: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

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Yikes…is this long overdue? Yes. The answer is yes. It helps me feel less guilty to tell you that this past month was crazy… in good ways:) Found out my brother and his wife are having a baby girl!! I already love her. I can hardly wait to meet her and begin passing on the playbook for getting on her dad’s nerves.


Started a new job that I love, book stuff, moved (went a lot better than last time),


Everything came at once.  Needless to say, reading had to go on the back-burner a little. Whenever I did get the chance, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? was a welcomed distraction!

Before we get into it, and so I don’t lose anyone who didn’t read, our next fiction book will be my bff Heather’s favorite- House of Spirits by Isabele Allende. A warning, apparently it’s a little graphic and violent. It follows a family during the 1970’s Chilean Revolution.


Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Overall, I LOVED it. I realize I’m going to have to hate a book sooner or later or you all won’t trust me. I can’t lie, and this one I did enjoy. For anyone interested in mental health, Seattle, Antarctica, Microsoft, or architecture, this book is for you! I found the hilariously honest windows into these worlds fascinating!

Team Bernadette?

Did you hate her or love her? I’ve heard both responses. I’m on her team. She was one of the most interesting and hysterical characters I’ve read in a very long time. Though sad, I appreciated the authentic look into a family with eccentric tendencies and how they are passed on. Bee, for example, was brilliant and noticed everything….except for where her mom was concerned. She had a loving blind spot for Bernadette that led her to be crazy at times. Best part? Am I wrong or did the author get you to identify and want to identify with Bernadette? She made crazy look good!

My Take-away:

Overall, the book reminded me to simply be honest and have real conversations when they need to be had. SO much calamity and pain would’ve been avoided had mom, dad, neighbor, child, ANYONE been upfront with the people involved. I won’t give away the ending, but even in the wrap-up, there were permanent consequences for the family given they all decided to keep pride, hold back, and communicate behind each others backs. I’ve tried to get better at this and find it’s always scary to be vulnerable and honest. In the end, at least for me, whenever I push myself to do so, I feel braver and more at peace.

What about you? What did you think?! About the need to create, outside impression of Christian culture, etc.??


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6 responses to “Book Club: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?”

  1. Alecia says:

    Overall, such a fun read, although I did have to warn my 81 yr. old mom, who shares my Kindle account, that there were some language and morality issues that would bother her. She’s amazingly open-minded so she survived! So, did I love Bernadette? Not always. Although she was hilarious, I got fed up with her egocentricity. And I found the cultural view of Christianity to be so, well, CULTURAL. Why are Christians always at the extremes in literature? Either portrayed as completely whacked or such goodie two-shoes you want to gag. Really, we are quite normal people! There is some resolution I guess, as Bernadette and Audrey play nice in the end and seem to have more commonalities than differences. Poor Bee with two marginally sane parents. Both love her, but she’s the one who really holds the family together. Maybe that’s a social commentary on contemporary kid-life, too. Anyway, a good and entertaining read that made me think…but not too hard!

    • cindyannjohnson says:

      I love your insight! Thanks for bringing in the portrayal of Christianity. It was something I thought a lot about while reading as well. It was interesting how in the end, Audrey came around… I couldn’t figure out where the author was coming from. At times, I appreciated the poke at how ridiculously we can be. At other times, I was wishing I could explain on behalf of the characters! I think you are right, it’s rare to find a “fair” representation these days.

      Interesting idea about Bee holding the family together. I had never thought of it that way!

      Glad your mom made it through:)

  2. CR says:

    So I really liked Bernadette’s character. Not that I could relate to her at all and being a mother myself I was a little horrified by some of her actions. But I liked that she was this quirky eccentric crazy person. She made the book interesting and we got to take a look into the life of someone not so ordinary. I do agree with Alecia though, that christians are ALWAYS extreme one way or another. Why aren’t there ever any level headed believers as characters:) I guess that would not make for an interesting story. I found it interesting how Bernadette and arch nemesis ended up needing each other in the end. The only part of the story I didn’t like was that the girlfriend got knocked up. Not of fan of bringing yet another child into their crazy situation. I found the book to be incredibly humorous, it had very witty writing and interesting characters.

    • cindyannjohnson says:

      It is interesting how Christians are rarely portrayed “well”. Whenever I see one in a book or TV, I cringe, just waiting for them to mess up somehow. I did appreciate how she came around in the end. Do you watch the Mindy Project? What do you think of the pastor boyfriend?

      The baby was a sad way to end:( However, it is a realistic and natural consequence of his affair. Yikes.

  3. I loved it! I read it in 2 days…which probably had something to do with an 8 week vaycay in Italy, but it was hard to put down nonetheless. I thought the characters were developed well and I agree that it made crazy look more fun than the “sane-ness” we try so hard to maintain.

    The part that sticks with me is when Bernadette’s old peer tells her she needs to start creating again before she becomes a menace to society. I think it’s so easy to come up with excuses to not create and do the things that bring us life because so much else seems important. But in the end, we need to create, whatever that is for you.

    Will definitely recommend to friends. Thanks for the good read!

    • cindyannjohnson says:

      You are so right! Our culture sees creativity as a luxury, so it’s hard to make time for it. All the while…we NEED it!
      Can’t wait till you’re home!!

  4. […] You Go, Bernadette is a fun novel recommended by friend Cindy’s blog for her summer book club.  It was a super easy and fun read. I finished it less than 2 […]

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