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Hornblower Group Library Hotlist Winter 2023 (Jan-April 2023)

  • Other Formats

    9781459750869 EPUB, $9.99 9781459750852 PDF, $24.99
  • Sales Rights

    For sale with exclusive rights in: CA US
  • Supply Detail (CA)

    Distributor: UTP Distribution Supplies to: CA Availability: Not yet available Expected Ship Date: Jan 09, 2023 On Sale Date: Jan 31, 2023 Carton Quantity: 40 $24.99 CAD
  • Supply Detail (US)

    Distributor: Ingram Publisher Services Supplies to: US Availability: Not yet available Expected Ship Date: Feb 06, 2023 On Sale Date: Feb 28, 2023 Carton Quantity: 40 $19.99 USD
  • Catalogues

What Remains of Elsie Jane
By (author): Chelsea Wakelyn
Chelsea Wakelyn


Rare Machines - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Jan 31, 2023
$24.99 CAD


8.5in x 5.5 x 1 in | 300 gr

Page Count:

264 pages
Dundurn Press
Rare Machines
FICTION / Biographical
Fiction: general and literary|Narrative theme: Death, grief, loss
  • Short Description
A single mother has just lost her soulmate, who has died unexpectedly. She tries to date too soon, confused by her grief, and she starts to unravel. Is she really capable of time travel, or is she going a little nuts?

“A poignant, laugh-out-loud funny, weird, and heartbreaking window into being bereft and being in love… a striking reminder that there can be beauty in devastation.” — EMILY AUSTIN, author of Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

A heartbreaking and darkly funny portrait of a woman unravelling in the wake of tragedy.

Sam is dead, which means that Elsie Jane has just lost the brilliant, sensitive man she planned to grow old with. The early days of grief are a fog of work and single parenting. Too restless to sleep, Elsie pores over Sam’s old love letters, paces her house, and bickers with the ghosts of Sam and her dead parents night after night. As the year unfolds, she develops an obsession with a local murder mystery, attends a series of disastrous internet dates in search of a “replacement soulmate,” and solicits a space-time wizard via Craigslist, convinced he will help her forge a path through the cosmos back to Sam.

Examining the ceaseless labour of motherhood, the stigma of death by drug poisoning, and the allure of magical thinking in the wake of tragedy, What Remains of Elsie Jane is a heart-splitting reminder that grief is born from the depths of love.


  • What Remains of Elsie Jane is The Year of Magical Thinking for weirdos, examining the surreal nature of cumulative and complicated grief through the lens of an eccentric young mother
  • The tone is at turns heartbreaking and darkly funny, brimming with bizarre moments and deadpan humour and imaginative description
  • Author based the novel on her experience of losing her partner to a drug overdose and parenting through the grief and stigma
  • Author works as a project manager collaborating on public health strategies to mitigate the drug poisoning crisis
  • Author hometown: Nanaimo, B.C.

Chelsea Wakelyn is a writer, musician, and mother to two lovely, eccentric humans. She lives on Vancouver Island.

  • Trade and wholesaler advertising
  • Publicity campaign to targeted media and influencers
  • Representation at international trade shows and conferences
  • Social media campaign and online advertising
  • Email campaigns to consumers, booksellers, and librarians
  • ARC mailing to booksellers, librarians, and influencers
  • Digital galley available: NetGalley, Edelweiss, Catalist
  • Goodreads giveaways
  • Cover reveal
  • Influencer mailing
  • Author Twitter: @tentaclelake
  • Author Instagram: @c.wakelyn
  • Book hashtag: #WhatRemainsOfElsieJane

To read What Remains of Elsie Jane is to encounter a raw, sometimes angry, and always messy grief. Wakelyn captures a woman falling apart and putting herself back together in the dynamic voice of her complicated protagonist. In her multiverse-curious widowhood, Elsie is unrelentingly hopeful without being cheerful, loving without being good. - Liz Harmer, author of The Amateurs and Strange Loops

What Remains of Elsie Jane reads like a side-splitting obituary. A poignant, laugh-out-loud funny, weird, and heartbreaking window into being bereft and being in love. This book is a striking reminder that there can be beauty in devastation. - Emily Austin, author of Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

What Remains of Elsie Jane reads like A Year of Magical Thinking, if it had been written by Nora Ephron instead of Joan Didion — but by a Nora Ephron who coped with tragedy by clumsily summoning wizards instead of making carbonara. What Remains of Elsie Jane is an exploration of grief that manages to avoid self-seriousness. The behaviour of those around the aggrieved is so sharply observed you’ll think that Evelyn Waugh dipped in to give his notes on the behaviour of Pacific Northwest millennials. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me blush, sometimes it made me do all three on the same page. - Eva Jurczyk, author of The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

In this remarkably intimate portrait of grief, Chelsea Wakelyn deftly weaves comedy and tragedy in the wake of a marriage destroyed by drug poisoning. With a sure touch, Wakelyn dismantles the stereotypes of those affected by this too common issue. The narrator’s unique voice is at once relatable and unhinged, the powerful pulls of rage and love on full and magnificent display, bringing to life a fully realized humanity as only honestly drawn fiction can do.

- Lilian Nattel, bestselling author of The River Midnight and Girl At The Edge of Sky

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