Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner – #BookReview – Women’s Literary Fiction

Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Have you ever dreamed of running away?

Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate BoernerLife 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.

A charming story of second chances and the transcendent power of love, Bernice Runs Away clears away life’s clutter and gets to the truth of what is essential in life.

My Review:

The cover is cute, eye-catching, and compelling. But don’t let it fool you–this is prose-perfect literary fiction. If the cover didn’t get you, this beautiful narrative of Bernice will. Don’t worry about the age thing—this is an easily identifiable theme of family, relationships, and an inspirational story that is trans-generational.

Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate BoernerWhat teenager, tired of parental guidance hasn’t thought to run away and rule their own lives? Independence, it seems, is hard won at any age and caregivers often become unwilling recipients.

Bernice’s daughter Sarah, worried about her mother aging in Savage Crossing alone in her old stone cottage, has gifted her with a book on “death cleaning” and if that is not enough, announced plans to move Bernice to the backyard bungalow in Atlanta being built for her—so she can be close.

Watched over.

Managed.

Bernice, like any independent adult rebels and begins plotting her escape. In the head of this octogenarian, the reader follows Bernice as she goes about her business dutifully clearing and cleaning (keeping only those things that “spark joy”), no way will she move to Atlanta. Her heart is in this home where she spent decades with her husband, now gone. She’s had a succession of cats, the current kitty being Dolly Parton—not as gregarious as her namesake—but still, she’s there.

What a poignant story, at times light-hearted or scary, riding with Bernice as she makes her way to Lake Norfolk, a special place in her heart, so many good memories! The little cabin that she booked with Jason, the owner of Cooper’s Bluff is perfect and the book becomes atmospheric with her efforts to prevail, do-overs and make-overs (old Bernice, new Bernice). Bernice is old school, old morality, and she is immensely empathetic. You can’t help but love her or the others in this character-driven novel.

As Bernice shares her memories and desires for tomorrow, the reader gleans that while age does not change desires of the heart and mind, some can be resolved.

So many quotables, including this, one of my favorites:

“Inhale. Exhale. Inhale bewilderment. Exhale disillusionment.”

Told in an easy pace (not to be confused with slow—as this is always engaging), the author has a wise sense of the decade, paints a casual kaleidoscope of visions as the story unfolds to a pleasing, satisfying conclusion. A lovely tale of adventure from a storyteller I’ll revisit with enthusiastic expectations.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Women’s Literary Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, Women’s Friendship Fiction
Publisher: One Mississippi Press LLC
ASIN: B0B919LW6X
Print Length: 403 pages
Publication Date: October 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link: Bernice Runs Away [Amazon]

 

Talya Tate Boerner
Talya Tate Boerner – author

The Author: Here are a few things about what makes me tick, and why we should be friends. I’m not afraid to drink from a regular garden hose or eat raw cookie dough. Unless I’m buying books or plants, I don’t like to shop. I love freshly ground coffee and logo t-shirts. I know how to make mud pies and snow cream and play dough from scratch. Yes, I’m a farmer’s daughter who really was raised in a barn.

I love interesting writing, some poetry, old movies, and hardback novels, especially southern classics. I have a degree in economics from Baylor University, and once upon a time worked for the previous owner of the Dallas Cowboys. My two grown children are the best people I know. I hope to be like them someday.

Clutter and incessant chatter make me crazy. I’m an extroverted introvert and need my quiet time. I’m inspired by music and nature. I have a butterfly garden in the backyard; milkweed is my favorite plant. I am an Arkansas Master Gardener and an Arkansas Master Naturalist.

I believe most any meal can be improved with a side of collard greens.

I live in Fayetteville, Arkansas with my husband and two schnauzers, Lucy and Annabelle (who rule the house). I think the Ozark Mountains are as gorgeous as any place on Earth.

Follow Talya at Grace, Grits and Gardening.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint Recommended-5 Stars

The Sea Nurses: An absolutely heartbreaking wartime saga by Kate Eastham – #BookReview – #historicalfiction @Bookouture

The Sea Nurses by Kate Eastham

Book Blurb:

The young nurse ran across the wooden deck, her feet skidding. She spotted an injured young man clinging to the ship’s rail, his eyes wide with terror. She could see the water rushing up to meet them. ‘We need to jump!’ she screamed. In that moment, a wave washed over them. She lunged forward to grab his hand, but she was a second too slow. Somewhere, deep inside the vessel, came a loud crack. The hospital ship was breaking apart…

The Sea Nurses by Kate Eastham1914. Evie Munro is a Scottish fisher girl, working the herring season from Wick to Great Yarmouth. For Evie, every day is the same – gutting fish at the docks, shoulder-to-shoulder with her friends, followed by fresh bread, a warm whiskey toddy and an early night. But when Germany declares war on Britain, everything changes.

As her village begins to empty of young men, Evie’s life is marked by a heartbreaking tragedy at home. Her happiness destroyed, she vows to join the war effort as an army nurse, caring for wounded soldiers on the imposing hospital ship Britannic.

But as the war rages on and the ship comes under direct fire, Evie’s courage is put to the ultimate test. Can Evie and the nurses of the HMHS Britannic save the day and heal the patients in their care? Or will her life become one more casualty in Britain’s heroic fight for freedom?

His Review:

Hospital ships rolling in a tempestuous sea is the setting for this saga. Iris Purefoy is a worker in a fish processing plant turned nurse. She has always had a knack for taking care of injuries in the processing of fish and also setting broken limbs. The tale begins on large ocean-liners, The RMS Olympic and HMHS Brittanic!

The Sea Nurses by Kate EasthamHospital ships are prime targets for German submarines because they carry wounded enemy combatants. If they are cured or rehabilitated, they will be sent back into battle to attack Germany again. Better to have them at the bottom of the sea rather than returning to battle.

The nurses serve twelve hour shifts six days a week and only have Sundays off. The pressure is immense and the pace grueling. Extreme mental duress is always a factor. Thinking or dwelling on any young patient can cause a serious degradation of morale. Looking at a patient with a limb missing and then assuring them that all will be well is not an easy task!

Nurses by their personalities are empaths  and feel the need to assuage the pain of those in their care, but they must effectively remove themselves from the obvious pain of their charges and work as quickly and effectively as possible. Triage is one of the most critical and heartbreaking tasks of their job. Assuring the patient he will be taken care of quickly, knowing that he is dying is heartbreaking but necessary.

CE WilliamsThe dialogue and descriptions of the nurses in this book is heartwarming and endearing. I found myself drawn to their humanity and abilities fulfilling. Whether they were on cruise ships or hospital ships, they treated their patients with professionalism and caring. I applaud the author in her treatment of this heartbreaking anthology of nurses in time of war. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Women’s Historical Fiction, Sisters Fiction, Women’s Friendship Fiction
Publisher: Bookouture
ASIN: B09VHDPX1Z
Print Length: 284 pages
Publication Date: June 6, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Sea Nurses [Amazon]
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Kate Eastham - authorThe Author: Kate Eastham trained as a nurse in the late 1970s and enjoyed a long career before a change in circumstance meant that she needed to be a full time carer for her partner. Determined to make the most of this new role ‘working from home’ she cleared a space at the kitchen table for a pile of books and a writing pad and started to make notes on the history of nursing. Inspired by the achievements of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole during the Crimean War she was also captured by the sheer grit and determination of other ‘ordinary women’ whose voices from the past are seldom heard. An idea for a novel was born and her first book, ‘Miss Nightingale’s Nurses’, was published by Penguin in 2018, closely followed by three more in the series.

Having thought that she would never find anything to replace the work in nursing that she loved, she is now equally immersed in her writing, drawing on years of experience and the stories told by so many patients. With her passion for history, Kate aims to continue making visible the lives of ordinary yet extraordinary women from the past.

Her current fiction is set during the World Wars and will be published by Bookouture.

©CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

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