The bestselling author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep delivers a suspenseful and emotionally satisfying novel “infused with warmth and humor” (People) about a lifelong friendship, a devastating secret, and the small acts of kindness that bring people together.
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 bit more explaining.
Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she thinks about her friend Elsie and wonders if a terrible secret from their past is about to come to light. If the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?
From the acclaimed, bestselling author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, Three Things About Elsie “breathes with suspense, providing along the way piercing, poetic descriptions, countless tiny mysteries, and breathtaking little reveals…a rich portrait of old age and friendship stretched over a fascinating frame” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). This is an “amusing and heartbreaking” (Publishers Weekly) story about forever friends on the twisting path of life who come to understand how the fine threads of humanity connect us all.
The unreliable narrator of Cannon's amusing and heartbreaking novel (following The Trouble with Goats and Sheep) spends most of the story lying in a heap on the floor of her apartment at the Cherry Tree "sheltered accommodation" for the elderly, reviewing her life. Florence, 84 and opinionated, is beginning to wonder whether she can trust her senses. First, she notices that somebody appears to moving small objects in her apartment; then, she recognizes a new resident, and realizes to her horror that he is somebody she is sure died in 1953. Fortunately, Florence has as her companion her best friend from childhood onward, Elsie, who helps her solve these mysteries and always knows what to say to make her feel better. Florence's acerbic and sometimes troubled voice is the main narration, though the perspective sometimes shifts to those of well-meaning administrator Miss Ambrose and dogged, socially awkward handyman Simon. While readers are likely to guess the mysterious "third thing" about Elsie early on, and the book's shocks depend on some unlikely coincidences, Cannon makes her protagonist sympathetic and touches lightly on how easy it is to make false assumptions about the elderly. Readers may come for the mystery, but they'll stay to spend time with Florence.
A Quite Extraordinary Book
Sometimes books leave me wanting or with a feeling of unfinished business. This book left me satiated and comfortable.
You forget how old they are
I wanted to find out the ending of this story and kept reading…. Finished in a few days
A lovely read
This is just a lovely read. The characters are endearing. The premise of the book so unlike I have ever read. Flo and Elsie will stay with me for a long time.