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, 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 soul mate,” and solicits a spacetime 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 borne from the depths of love.