Radio 2 Book Club: Three Things About Elsie

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Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon will be featured on the Radio 2 Book Club on Monday 22 January.

We have the chance for you to win 10 copies of this wonderful book for your reading group! Please enter by Friday 26 January.

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We also have an exclusive extract available for you to read.

Three Things About Elsie

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 little bit more explaining.

84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly a man who died sixty years ago?

Selection panel review

The book was selected with the help of a panel of librarians from across the UK.

The panel loved Three Things About Elsie – here are some of their comments:

“This is a novel of friendship and a 60-year-old secret. Florence has fallen and the staff at Cherry Tree have suggested to Florence that she isn’t capable of living alone any longer and needs to move into a home, which she has been resisting. While she is lying on the floor she thinks of the different members of staff who might be the one to find her and she recalls the past few weeks since a new resident moved to Cherry Tree and a 60 year old mystery has been solved.”

“Brilliant! I loved this book from start to finish. A real page-turner with twists and revelations that will have you guessing right until the end. Having the main character in a mystery as a potentially unreliable narrator makes for a very interesting concept, and one which keeps the reader hooked trying to work out what is real and what is not. Is there even a mystery to be solved, and if there is, will anyone ever believe her? Engaging and believable characters, and a series of dramatic revelations towards the end of the book that tie everything together in a very clever way.”

“What a wonderful book – sad, poignant, funny and touching. Florence is an elderly resident of Cherry Tree sheltered housing complex. Slightly rebellious and with failing memory, Flo resists the demands of staff to join in with social activities, despite the threat of being sent to Greenbank. One day a new resident appears and Flo is sure she knows him from her youth. Accompanied by her lifelong friend Elsie, and fellow resident Jack, the three of them embark on a quest to uncover the truth. Throughout the book, as the past is slowly revealed, it becomes increasingly obvious that Flo isn’t the reliable narrator you first think. I would definitely read this again!”

About the author

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Joanna Cannon graduated from Leicester Medical School and worked as a hospital doctor, before specialising in psychiatry. Her first novel The Trouble With Goats and Sheep was a top ten bestseller. She lives in the Peak District with her family and her dog.

Get involved

Tune in to Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show on Monday 22 Janaury to hear a live interview with Joanna.

Have you read Three Things About Elsie? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #ThreeThings.

You can also see what other readers thought or add the book to your group’s reading list.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the Radio 2 Book Club Twitter feed or find out more on the Radio 2 Book Club website.

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