Three Things About Elsie

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

By Joanna Cannon

avg rating

5 reviews

One of The Reading Agency Books of the Year 2018

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84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly.

As she waits to be rescued, she considers the charming new resident who looks exactly like a man she once knew – a man who died sixty years ago.

His arrival has stirred distant memories she and Elsie thought they’d laid to rest.

Lying prone in the front room, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light…


02 Aug 2018


We all enjoyed this book ,although some of us had guessed the twist to the story

17 Apr 2018

Recommended By. Durham Book Swap

Recommended for anyone who cares about people.

Review. The central character, Florence, is an 84 year old woman who has a flat in a sheltered accommodation complex. She lives in constant fear of being diagnosed with dementia and being moved to a nearby care home. Things start to go wrong for her when a shady character from her past becomes her latest neighbour.
Joanna Cannon's skillful writing gives the reader an insight into Florence's mind, sharing her confusion and anxiety. Cannon's accurate observations of dementia sufferers have resulted in a beautifully sensitive book, which kept me guessing as to what was fact and what was the fantasies of Florence's mind, right until the very end.
Having had the experience of watching a loved one fading away in the throws of dementia I think that this book is an excellent portrayal of this cruel condition and I would definitely recommend this book.

10 Apr 2018


I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy reading a book set in a nursing home, but I absolutely adored Florence, her friend Jack and the ever present Elsie.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but a whodoneit wasn’t it! I thought I’d worked it all out but there was a surprise package at the end of the book which both surprised and excillerated me. I especially enjoyed the skilled storytelling, connecting everyone up.
All in all, a joy to read.

05 Mar 2018

Observant, down to earth, slightly abrasive and wonderfully funny, Florence Claybourne is seeing her days out as a reluctant resident of ‘Cherry Tree home for the elderly’. That is until a very unexpected and unwanted visitor from the distant past throws her life into disarray. Past and present become intertwined and as Florence begins to remember, a tragic mystery begins to unfold.
This book really drew me in, at first I wasn’t so sure if I would enjoy reading about Cherry Tree and the characters living and working there, I didn’t actually find them very likeable. However once introductions were made and the storyline developed they became much more endearing.
I didn’t know what to expect from this book, it kept me guessing right up until the end. A mystery to be solved and so much more besides - especially Florence’s matter of fact and highly amusing observations.
I would recommend this book as a nice combination of being both easy to read and thought provoking, cosy and familiar on the surface ‘Three Things about Elsie’ will not fail to leave you feeling deeply moved.

28 Feb 2018

Having heard the author on Radio i read and shared this with a friend.
Great understanding of importance of friendship and shared experiences.
Some waffle in bulk of book where focus became too "coincidental "to be true.
Good descriptions of impact of memory loss and difference in concept of life and experience.
Worth a read and good to discuss

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