Where’d You Go Bernadette Book Club Kit

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Book Club Kit for Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple includes book club discussion questions and party menu.

A copy of the book Where'd You Go Bernadette sits on a table.

I’m super excited to announce that we are kickstarting our summer book list with Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

This book has come so very highly recommended by many people in the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers that I thought it made a perfect selection for June.

Peanut Blossom Book Club

This book was our official October 2016 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club.

Want to see what we’re reading today? Check out our book club book list here.

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This book club pick is one of the awesome books from our second year of book club.

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    What is Where’d You Go, Bernadette About?

    “Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

    To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.”

    Summer is a time for family travel and I thought this would be a unique take on that theme! I’ve been told it is laugh-out-loud funny which is just what I want when I’m lounging by our neighborhood pool in the coming weeks!

    Grab your copy of Where’d You Go Bernadette here.

    Plan a Movie Night

    I love picking books for book club that have been turned into movies.

    Pop the popcorn and invite you book club friends over for a movie night after the discussion!

    Have you seen the movie starring Cate Blanchett as Bernadette? I loved it.

    You can watch the trailer here:

    Where’d You Go, Bernadette Book Club Questions

    I believe the best book club questions to spark a lively discussion in your group help readers make personal connections to the story.

    You can read about how to write the best book club questions on your own here, but hopefully these will get you started!

    Question 1:

    This month’s book came HIGHLY recommended by our group but was new to me.

    Had you already read this book or was it on your to-read list? What did you think?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 2:

    When Bernadette moves from Los Angeles to Seattle, she must cope with being a transplant in a new city.

    Have you ever moved and had to adjust to an entirely different culture? What was it like?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 3:

    The parents at the Galer Street School are an *interesting* bunch.

    Were you able to relate to that community or see resemblances between them and your own children’s school community?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 4:

    Rather than traditional chapters, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is written in the format of emails and letters between characters.

    How did you feel about this writing style?

    Did you find it distracting or did it give a new layer of insight into character’s behavior and motivations?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 5:

    Bernadette often behaves as if she is an outsider.

    Do you think she is? Is that situation self-imposed or is she truly different from the members of her community?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 6:

    What did you think of Audrey Griffin? Did your feelings about her change through the book?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 7:

    What did you think about Bernadette and Elgie’s marriage? Is it dysfunctional? Is there real love there?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 8:

    What are your thoughts on Bernadette’s sanity?

    Has she become unhinged or has she always been a little crazy?

    What do you think sent her over the edge?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 9:

    Why do you think the author chose Antartica for the setting for the last portion of the book? What significance did you feel it had on the plot?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 10:

    How do you think becoming a parent changed Bernadette and Elgie individually?

    Do you feel you had a similar transitions when you became a parent?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 11:

    What did you think about Bernadette’s virtual assistant Manjula? Does the idea of having an assistant like that appeal to you?

    See the online discussion here.

    Question 12:

    Were you satisfied with the ending of the book?

    Where do you think the characters go from here at the end of the story?

    See the online discussion here.

    Book Club Party Menu

    You’ve got two great choices for a book club party menu for this book:

    Seafood Appetizers:

    Since the book takes place in both Seattle and Antarctica, the natural choice would be to serve chilled shellfish.

    Make my boiled shrimp the morning before the party and chill them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve alongside one (or more!) of these delicious shrimp dipping sauces.

    Starbucks-Inspired Coffee Bar:

    Seattle is the home of Starbucks, so set up a flavored coffee bar and serve my easy cherry almond streusel coffee cake.

    You May Also Enjoy

    If you enjoyed this book, you’d likely enjoy these other fun book club picks from through the years:

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