Bernice Runs Away, a review by Di

posted in: Di | 1

Talya Tate Boemer

One Mississippi Press
October 1, 2022
355 pages

Amazon | Goodreads

Bernice turned out to be one of the most endearing fictional characters that I have ever met.

Bernice is 81 years old. Her daughter is bound and determined that Bernice should move to a granny flat in their backyard, a few states away. And, Bernice is just as determined that she does not want to do that. So as the title says, she runs away!

The book is definitely character driven. The reader is privy to all of Bernice’s thoughts. There is a lot of introspection on her part as she reminisces about her past and thinks about the present and future. Bernice is outspoken, she knows her mind. But she carries some baggage in her heart from years gone by.

I worry about Bernice, as I worried about my aging mother. She has memory problems. And, sometimes she doesn’t make wise choices. We follow along with her adventure, sometimes a little meandering leading to misadventure. Bernice evokes emotions: pathos, admiration, concern, hope. But, such a sweet lady. In some aspects, she’s trying to make peace with her past and herself. And, she does find peace.

The story sort of ambles along…..not for someone who is looking for thrills or lots of action. The pace picks up in the second half. I think I would describe it as a cozy read. It would be great to indulge in a Seven-Up with gin while reading.

The ending was almost satisfying. The thing that dissatisfied me was that I wanted to continue with Bernice so I could find out what became of her.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Readers Copy.

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