Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 168
Maria Semple's novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette? is a complex story about a mother named Bernadette Fox.
Bernadette Fox is an architect, a wife, a mother, and a missing person. Right before her family's trip to Antarctica, Bernadette goes missing. This story is narrated by Bee Fox, Bernadette's daughter, a fifteen-year-old girl.
Bee is worried about her mother's disappearance and begins researching to try to solve this mystery. Bee searches through various correspondences between her mother and other people. While searching, Bee discovers that her mother has had multiple miscarriages as well as multiple arguments with other mothers of students at her school, especially a woman named Audrey.
Bee also discovers that her parents are having marital troubles, most importantly her father's affair with his coworker, who convinces him that Bernadette is mentally unstable.
Through more research, Bee discovers that her mother escaped to Antarctica with Audrey's help and is waiting there for her husband and daughter. Bee travels to Antarctica to find her mother alive and well.