Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper

Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Emma Hooper

When 80 year old Etta embarks on a pilgrimage of 2000 miles on foot, from the 'Prairie Province' of Canada to the sea, the walk becomes a journey through her memories and a poignant meditation on friendship, loss, love and ageing. The impressionistic style, with its lyrical rhythmic cadences, reflects the dreamlike quality of Etta’s state of dementia - even those readers who don't care for magical realism will find it hard to resist its charm.


Etta and Russell would go dancing every night now. They had asked around and made a list of all the events in all the villages and towns in the district. They rode on Russell’s horses or in Etta’s father’s car. Despite his bad leg, Russell danced pretty well, just in half-time to everyone else. Etta didn’t mind, it gave her more time to do turns. They started to recognize all the musicians and tipped hats to each other walking in or out. Most of them were old men or farm girls. Everyone was exhausted from farm or factory work, circles under their eyes, calluses on their hands, but they still put on good shoes and pressed clothes and played and played and played and danced and danced and danced.

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  • The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
  • The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg

Books with similar mood

Heart of Tango

Elia Barcelo


Daniel Kehlmann

Not the End of the World

Kate Atkinson

A Lone Walk

Gul Y Davis

Raising Sparks

Ariel Khan

Barn 8

Deb Olin Unferth

The Gracekeepers

Kirsty Logan

Maynard & Jennica

Rudolph Delson

Death and the Penguin

Andrey Kurkov

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

Denis Thériault

The Woman Who Dived into the Heart of the World

Sabina Berman

The Collector of Worlds

Iliya Troyanov

The Lace Reader

Brunonia Barry

Scenes from the Life of a Best-selling Author

Michael Kruger


Michael Carson

The Descendants

Kaui Hart Hemmings

Fly Already

Etgar Keret

My Family and Other Superheroes

Jonathan Edwards

Sleight of Hand

Peter S Beagle

Crowe's Requiem

Mike McCormack


Zoran Zivkovic

Beyond Our Kennel

John Hegley


Per Petterson

What is Not Yours is Not Yours

Helen Oyeyemi

Miss Fanny's Voice

Dorit Peleg


Lars Saabye Christensen

The Age of Cardboard and String

Charles Boyle

Don't Try This at Home

Angela Readman

The Humans

Matt Haig


Karen Russell


Lars Iyer

Some New Ambush

Carys Davies

The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield

Time's Tidings

Carol Ann Duffy (ed)

The Year of the Hare

Arto Paasilinna

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

Dai Sijie


Moniza Alvi

The Well of Trapped Words

Sema Kaygusuz

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Jonas Jonasson

The Tiger's Wife

Tea Obreht

Kick the Animal Out

Veronique Ovalde

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Jonathan Safran Foer

The Testament of Yves Gundron

Emily Barton

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

John Berendt

Breakfast with the Borgias

DBC Pierre

Every Single Minute

Hugo Hamilton


Kathleen Jamie

Elliot Allagash

Simon Rich

By George

Wesley Stace