Book Review: Three Things about Elsie by Joanna Cannon

You’d think, wouldn’t you, after all that time, you’d be given a chance to say good-bye.

Book Rating

4/5

Book Review

Three Things About Elsie will stay with me for a while, I can feel it. Cannon captured the essence of Flo in such a captivating way that I truly still believe she might be a real person. The more I think about this book, the more I like it, although it was a tiny bit slow for me in parts which is why I took a star away. Also, not all of my questions were answered which bothers me a bit. I may end up adding it back, though, because it’s having a lasting impact on me.

Flo is an eighty-four year old in a nursing home. She has fallen in her home, and she reminisces on her past, and we follow her story at the nursing home as she uncovers the truth that she can’t always quite remember. I’m an emotional person, so I cried multiple times through this novel. Not a straight out sob, but more of a silent tear. Yes, even on the airplane in front of a bunch of strangers. It got me an extra snack pack at least. And they were the Ritz cheese crackers, not the pretzels, so you might call it a big deal.

Anyway, this book explores some very deep themes in fascinating ways, such as, is forgiveness possible? For others, and more importantly, for yourself? What is the meaning of life, and can you truly make a difference in the world while you are around? What does it mean to die? What does it mean to live? What friendships will stick with you to the end? What do memories do to shape you, and what are you without them in tact?

I wouldn’t say this is a feel-good novel in any way whatsoever, but I truly believe that it is an important read. It also gave me a pretty good idea I want to explore. I don’t want to say too much right now…but I am inspired about this idea and want to see where it goes! I’ll keep you posted.

I couldn’t find my cover edition anywhere but here’s a link to the same book, different  cover (just as pretty though, if not prettier–I may have cover envy).

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