Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner

EXCERPT: Just before sunrise on a Friday like any other, Bernice Hart decided to run away from home. She’d started mulling over the notion shortly after the occasion of her eighty-first birthday. Now, as she opened her eyes to another day, Bernice discovered the idea had fully taken root in her mind. She would slip away undetected, not in search of one last great adventure, nor as an attention-seeking antic sure to upset her family. Bernice had only one goal: she wanted to live out the remainder of her life on her own terms.

ABOUT ‘BERNICE RUNS AWAY’: Life hasn’t always been easy for Bernice, but she is reasonably content at the ripe age of eighty-one. She has raised two children, buried both her husband and son, and is doing okay despite a few minor health issues. When Bernice’s daughter, Sarah, insists the time has come for Bernice to forfeit her independence and move into her backyard carriage house, Bernice refuses.

“I have a perfectly good house in Arkansas. Why on earth would I move to Atlanta?”

Despite Bernice’s protestations, Sarah moves forward with death cleaning and estate sale planning as though Bernice has no say in the matter.

Bernice has plenty to say about a variety of things.

With Miss Fiona packed stem to stern with only those things that spark joy (thank you, Marie Kondo) and inspired by an old black-and-white photograph of her first true love, Bernice leaves her cozy home in Savage Crossing without a glance in the rearview mirror. And without a word to her family.

Once Bernice decides to run away, there is no telling what might happen next.

MY THOUGHTS: This sounds like a hilarious jaunt. It’s not. It’s a quiet exploration of an elderly woman ‘finding herself’; discovering what is important to her. There are some humorous moments along the way, but that’s not what the book is about.

At the outset, Bernice seems like a pretty dull character. She has fallen into a rut and thinks she is perfectly happy there. But, determined not to be railroaded by her daughter into moving to Atlanta to live with her, she decides to run away – from everyone and everything.

At times I was worried about Bernice, particularly when she loses her cat, Dolly Parton, at a roadside stop. She doesn’t exactly have a lot of life skills and undergoes a steep learning curve.

I really liked Jason’s character. He owns the lakeside cabins where Bernice stays. He’s reeling from a broken engagement – the woman even took his dog when she left! He’s kind and thoughtful and keeps a close eye on Bernice, and helps her in her search for her first love, who had unceremoniously dumped her with no explanation!

I found it easy to empathise with Bernice in many situations. When she needs it, she has spunk and determination.

If you want a story with lots of action and romance, Bernice Runs Away isn’t for you. If you want a delightfully quiet read about an elderly woman looking for a second chance at life – you’ve found it.


#BerniceRunsAway #NetGalley

I: @gracegrits @onemisspress

T: @GraceGrits @OneMissPress

THE AUTHOR: Talya Tate Boerner is a delta girl who grew up making mudpies on her family’s cotton farm in Northeast Arkansas. After thirty years as a commercial banker in Dallas, she returned to the state she loves and now lives in Fayetteville with her husband, John, and two miniature schnauzers, Gracie and Annabelle. She loves to cook and believes most any dish can be improved with a side of collard greens.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to One Mississippi Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and


Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

6 thoughts on “Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner”

  1. Wonderful review, Sandy. I am not yet at that point, but as I have my 65th birthday coming up, I am not anywhere near giving up my independence. This sounds like a great book to ponder our own aging and what we want to do. I also want to find out all those cat names. 😁📚💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, there’s Dolly Parton for a start . . . So, I’m the senior of this little group (67). I’m nowhere near ready to give up my independence either, Carla. It might be a different story when I am 82 though. Enjoy. ❤📚

      Liked by 1 person

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