The last few weeks over Christmas haven’t quite turned out how I planned or hoped. Christmas Day saw me start with Covid symptoms and they in turn led to a positive test result and all of us having to isolate for nearly two weeks as first I and then Bonn had full blown Covid. I’m not a week out of isolation, but still not right again. It’s given me plenty of time for reading as although my body has needed sleep, it hasn’t always come easily. Instead I’ve found sanctuary in books in the early hours, even if my feverish mind hasn’t always managed to follow everything going on!
Three Things About Elsie is a book that I bought on a bit of a whim after seeing my dear friend Ruth talk about it on Instagram maybe a couple of years ago. Since then it’s sat in my growing to read pile until I picked up up over Christmas and started to lose myself in it.
Set in a retirement complex it was hard at times to not get a tad confused with The Thursday Murder Club which was the last book I read. I kept expecting some of the characters from that to turn up and try to make sense of what was going on. They’d probably have done a good job! I did warn you that my feverish mind didn’t always keep on top of what was happening.
What I did love about Three Things About Elsie was the characters that Joanna Cannon had created. I really liked Florence and found the writing style made me feel great empathy for what she was going through as the story progressed. It certainly makes you think hard about growing older and what it must be like for the millions of older people that have spent so much of the last year in isolation. There was also something about “Handy Simon” that I also found myself associating strongly with, I just can’t place my finger on what it is!
As for the story itself, there were a couple of times where I found myself making connections and almost jumping ahead of myself, but on the whole I really liked its slightly rambling nature and how the different lives came together. It was sort of relaxing, but at the same time had enough drama in it to keep me interested. I particularly enjoyed the section of the book set in Whitby. Possibly because it’s somewhere I know reasonably well and visited only a couple of years ago, meaning I was able to picture everything quite clearly as I read.
Joanna Cannon isn’t an author that I was really familiar with before Three Things About Elsie, but I’ll certainly keep my eyes open for more of her books. A gentle read, yet also one which helps you really feel for the characters in it. Exactly what my frazzled brain needed during some long sleepless nights.
Disclaimer: This book was bought with my own money. Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you buy anything via them it will cost you no more than if you arrived at Amazon on your own, but I will receive a small commission. Any purchases you make are greatly appreciated. Thank you.