Published by The Borough Press on January 11th 2018
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Florence is an 84-year-old woman living in the Cherry Tree home for the elderly. She has fallen and is lying on the floor waiting to be rescued. She is thinking about what will happen when the emergency personnel arrive. She is also thinking about a secret from her past and what will happen when that secret has become known. Florence has a lot on her mind, she has recently been put on probation at the home by the director, Miss Ambrose. Florence is having difficulty fitting in with the other residents the home’s social program. Plus, Florence seems to be deteriorating mentally. Florence also is concerned about the new resident at the home. He looks like a man she knew in the past – a man who has been dead for sixty years. Who is this man? Why does the figurine appear to be moved? Why does the staff continue to say they may need to move Florence to another facility when she tells them about the missing items, the moved items, and things she finds to be amiss at the home?
Don’t let the title fool you, the book is really about Florence. Yes, Elsie does play a BIG part of this book, but the story is about Florence. So now you are probably wondering if the book is about Florence then what are the three things about Elsie? Why is she mentioned in the title? Again, she plays a big part in the book but especially in Florence’s life. Best friends since they met on a bus when they were children, they have been best friends and shared many life events together.
Right away I figured out one key part of the plot. I didn’t know I was right until the end but after the first chapter, I thought……hmmmmm, I wonder if…….
I enjoyed this book, but I can’t say that I loved it. I really enjoyed Florence and her snappy comebacks and interactions with people. There is some mystery in this book concerning Gabriel Price and if he really is who he claims to be. Florence and her friends embarked on a mission to discover the truth and through their detective work, other truths came out as well.
This book is well-written with enjoyable characters, but it failed to really WOW me. This is a book about the characters, their friendships, their secrets, living with a secret, but it is also about aging and living in a home for the elderly. Florence is having difficulty remembering things and I thought the Author did a good job showing Florence and her struggles. Elsie is there, and she helps Florence to remember and gently prods those pesky memories that Florence can’t quite grasp initially and bring them to the surface.
I wish some revelations would have be revealed to the reader sooner – such as the one I guessed. For me, this would have enhanced the story. But when the revelation does come at the end, I believe most readers will have that aha moment and realize that clues were there.
Thank you to Scribner and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.