A charming, uplifting debut novel—full of humor and depth—that has taken readers around the world by surprise.
Everyone has a story to tell. But does Janice have the power to unlock her own?
She can’t recall what started her collection. Maybe it was in a fragment of conversation overheard as she cleaned a sink? Before long (as she dusted a sitting room or defrosted a fridge) she noticed people were telling her their stories. Perhaps they had always done so, but now it is different, now the stories are reaching out to her and she gathers them to her …
Cleaner Janice knows that it is in people’s stories that you really get to know them. From recently widowed Fiona and her son Adam to opera-singing Geordie, the quiet bus driver Euan, and the pretentious Mrs. “YeahYeahYeah” and her fox terrier, Decius, Janice has a unique insight into the community around her.
When Janice starts cleaning for Mrs. B—a shrewd and prickly woman in her nineties—she finally meets someone who wants to hear her story. But Janice is clear: she is the keeper of stories, she doesn’t have a story to tell. At least, not one she can share.
Mrs. B is no fool and knows there is more to Janice than meets the eye. What is she hiding? After all, doesn’t everyone have a story to tell?