Thursday 4 January 2018

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon @JoannaCannon @BoroughPress #ThreeThings

There are three things you should know about Elsie.
The first thing is that she’s my best friend.
The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better.
And the third thing… might take a little bit more explaining.
84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly a man who died sixty years ago?
From the author of THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP, this book will teach you many things, but here are three of them:
1) The fine threads of humanity will connect us all forever.
2) There is so very much more to anyone than the worst thing they have ever done.
3) Even the smallest life can leave the loudest echo.

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon is published in hardback by Borough Press on 11 January 2018 and is the second novel from this very talented author.

Joanna Cannon's first novel; The Trouble With Goats and Sheep is a book that is very special to me, I was lucky enough to read an early copy and have spent much of the last eighteen months or so shouting about it to anyone how would listen. I reviewed it here on Random Things.

When a first novel does so very well it sparks contradictory emotions in me. On the one hand, I am desperate to see what the author will do next, and on the other hand, I sometimes feel a little uneasy, a little apprehensive. What if book two just doesn't live up to the debut?

I was honoured to receive a special edition, hardback, signed proof copy of Three Things About Elsie, and I thank the author and publisher so much for that. Whilst I wanted to dive in and read it immediately, I left it a while, and read it over the Christmas break; when I knew that I'd have the time to fully immerse myself in it.

I can safely say that whilst I loved The Trouble With Goats and Sheep, I absolutely adore Three Things About Elsie. It's a reading experience that is utterly satisfying. The story is magically conducted by this outstanding author, she leads her beautifully created characters through each page and chapter with a skill and an ease that is quite breathtaking.

Three Things About Elsie is cleverly structured. The reader is introduced to Florence; 84-years-old and a resident at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. Florence has fallen, and as she lays on the floor, awaiting help, her mind wanders. She thinks about recent events at Cherry Tree, and she thinks back many years, to her youth. Joanna Cannon takes the reader step by step through Florence's life and it's a wonderful, beautifully written life story, full of warmth, humour and some sadness.

Florence and Elsie are best friends, they met many years ago and have gone through their lives together. Elsie's voice reverberates constantly throughout the story; she's Florence's constant companion as she recalls intimate details of her long life.

There's a mystery at the heart of this story as Florence is most concerned about a new resident at Cherry Tree. She knows his face, she knows who he is and it's not who he says he is. There are dark secrets that Florence has kept for many years and the appearance of this man could alter everything for her.

Joanna Cannon has an incredible insight into the human mind. She conjures up words and phrases to describe some of the most mundane and ordinary situations and turns them into prose that is utterly delightful. Her skill in creating her characters is outstanding.  Each and every one of them, from lead players Florence, Elsie, Jack and Simon, right through to the supporting cast are carefully crafted.

I could go on and on, and say more about the plot, and the supremely developed ending, but I fear that I'm saying too much.

Three Things About Elsie is an astoundingly beautiful story of love, of loss, of regret and of friendship. Hugely emotional with an impact that is so powerful. This is the sort of story that makes my heart sing, Joanna Cannon is the sort of author that we should cherish and applaud.

Joanna Cannon graduated from Leicester Medical School and worked as a hospital doctor, before specialising in psychiatry.
Her first novel The Trouble With Goats and Sheep was a top ten bestseller in both hardback and paperback and was a Richard and Judy pick.

She lives in the Peak District with her family and her dog.

Find out more at
Find her Author page on Facebook 
Follow her on Twitter @JoannaCannon

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