Audiobook Review: Three Things About Elise by Joanna Cannon


Three Things About Elise
Author: Joanna Cannon
Narrator: Paula Wilcox
Reading Level: Adult Fiction
Genres: Mystery | Suspense
Released: August 7th 2018
Review Source: Simon & Schuster Audio

The bestselling author of the “remarkable…masterfully constructed, pitch-perfect” (Booklist, starred review) debut The Trouble with Goats and Sheep delivers a suspenseful and emotionally satisfying novel 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 is a story about forever friends on the twisting path of life. As we uncover their buried secrets, we learn how the fine threads of humanity connect us all.

Three Things About Elsie is a beautiful story about friendships and kindness. It follows Florence (Flo) Claybourne and her friends Elsie and General Jack, who are residents of Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. Flo, Elsie, and Jack feel like a band of elderly misfits getting up to no good as they try to ‘open the drawers’ of Flo’s memories and figure out exactly what happened 60 years ago. The story is mostly told from Flo’s perspective, as she lies on the floor waiting for someone to find her after she’s fallen.

The story is full of wonderful little twists and turns as we piece together Flo’s past, and how it relates to the new resident at Cherry Hill. Some twists you might see coming, others come out of nowhere. But for me, the heart of the story is not in the mystery they’re trying to solve, but the kind hearts of each of the characters. The book is full of introspection and characters wondering what they’re leaving behind and how they’ll be remembered. The caretakers at Cherry Hill, like Miss Ambrose and Handy Simon, don’t think their lives have any meaning and they’re not leaving behind any kind of legacy. Flo often wonders who will look at her photo when she’s gone and miss her. We learn about the ‘long second’ and the choices that change other people’s lives. I loved finding out how so many of the lives in the story were connected, though they never knew it. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator did a wonderful job of keeping me engaged. My only criticism is that there was no delineation between chapters. As with reading a paper book, I like to finish a chapter (when possible) before closing the book for the moment.


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