I’ve wanted to read this book since it was released and especially enjoyed hearing the author, Joanna Cannon speak about the book on the Richard and Judy podcast. There is so much in this book for us all to learn or to put into practice when we deal with elderly people.
84 year old Florence has fallen and she imagines people coming to find her and what they will say and how they will help her. As we follow her through this time, we also hear what has led up to this point and how she has been effected by a new resident at the home where she has spent the last 8 years of her life.
The story is told mostly from Florence’s perspective, however this is also added to by Miss Ambrose, who is in charge of the home and the residents and Handy Simon who works around the home as a general handyman. We seem them interact with Florence but we also find out details about their lives, how they feel about their roles and also anything important from their past which may impact their characters today. Throughout the story we also meet other characters such as Elsie, Jack and Ronnie who calls himself Gabriel Price and we see how they impact Florence and her wellbeing in the past and now as she tries her hardest to remember things from her past.
The fact that she suffers from dementia effects her recall of these memories and we also see from the sidelines how her illness is used as a way of dismissing her thoughts and suspicions about the new resident.
There is lots of action and stories which touch on many themes and will make you smile, cry and laugh. You’ll also hopefully question how you interact with the elderly people in your life whether that is personally or professionally.
There were many parts where I couldn’t put the book down and found myself wanting to speak up for Florence and also enjoy the friendships she develops. Once people give her a chance then she is seen to be a caring individual who takes notice of other people around her. This makes it even harder to accept when others dismiss her as simply having dementia.
I dare you not to be moved when you reach the end when there are more revelations.