I don’t usually like sad books, and yet this one became a fast favorite! It’s the writing. It’s just so good. Like being a fly on the wall of her mind. Elsey Jane is a widow grieving the loss of her partner who died of drug poisoning. Her actions and thoughts—often bizarre, delusional, and reckless—are sometimes incongruous with the expectations of someone grieving. At other times the agony and suffering and consumption she experiences are completely spot on of what we’d expect. This book is so absurd at times, I laughed, cringed, and tearing up all within minutes. It’s a beautifully written, complicated, intimate story that’s as weird as it is honest—just as grief often is. I highly recommend!
What Remains of Elsie Jane by Chelsea Wakelyn, (List Price: 19.99, Rare Machines, 9781459750845, February 2023)
Reviewed by Andrea Jasmin, Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina