Title: Three Things About Elsie
Author: Joanna Cannon
Pages: 464 Pages
Publisher: Harper Collins
84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she considers the charming new resident who looks exactly like a man she once knew – a man who died sixty years ago. His arrival has stirred distant memories she and Elsie thought they’d laid to rest. Lying prone in the front room, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light …
Three Things About Elsie is a beautifully sad book about getting older and about how people treat the elderly differently or lose sight of them all together.
This is the story of Florence. She has had a fall and is waiting to be found. While she waits, she reflects on her life and the people who have made an impact.
The story is told though various narrative threads. These include different time periods and different voices alongside modern times. It is also a mystery/crime story that Florence is trying to solve. Cleverly, author Joanna Cannon relies on societies disregard for the elderly to make out narrator seem unreliable. She has given the character of Florence certain qualities that we tend to attribute to Dementia or Alzheimers so we are never quite sure whether we should believe her or not.
Three Things About Elsie really is a heartbreaking novel about being old. Cannon shows a lot of empathy for her characters and allows us to recognise our own prejudices without preaching.
Three Things About Elsie really is a wonderful book.
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon is available now.
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