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Book Review; Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Elizabeth is MissingTitle: Elizabeth is Missing
Author: Emma Healey
Publisher: Penguin
Published: 1st January 2014
Pages: 275
Format: Paperback
Source:: Library Copy
Add It: Goodreads, The Book People, The Book Depository

‘Elizabeth is missing.’ Maud keeps finding notes in her pockets with this message scrawled on it, but she can’t remember writing it. That said, she can’t remember much these days: the time of day, whether she’s eaten lunch, if her daughter’s come to visit, how much toast she’s eaten. Still, the notes about Elizabeth nag at her. When was the last time she spoke with her best friend? It feels like ages ago…

Frustratingly, no one seems willing to help Maud find her: not the police nor Elizabeth’s son – not even Maud’s own daughter or granddaughter. It’s like they’re hiding something.

Maud resolves to take matters into her own hands, and begins digging for the truth. There are many clues, but unhelpfully, they all seem to point to another unsolved disappearance: that of Maud’s sister Sukey just after the war.

Could the mystery of Sukey’s disappearance lead Maud to the truth about Elizabeth? As Maud’s mind retreats into the past at a frightening pace, alienating her from her family and carers, vivid memories of what happened over fifty years ago come flooding back to give her quest new momentum.

If No One

While this book was getting popular, I still wasn’t sure that it was a book that I was interested in reading. However, when it was chosen as my book club book of the month, I decided that I would at least try it to see what I thought. Fortunately, I am glad I did as I quickly got pulled into the narrative of this story. It wasn’t a quick read for me but despite being a slow-burner I very much enjoyed this book. It was a truly fascinating read that was unique and eye-opening.

Is Listening

What really struck me with this book was the narrative style of this book. Written from the eyes of an old lady with dementia, it was incredibly interesting to see what it is like to live with. I loved how it moved between the past and the present and how that in turn showed how she often became confused and worried. I can imagine that this may be a hard book to read for people who know someone who suffers or has suffered with dementia or alzheimers and that is because it was all just written so well. I also loved how it all finally concluded – very intriguing!

What Do

In case you missed it, I thought the progtagonist in this book was written extraordinarily well. I found Maud to be a very interesting, almos incredible narrator and loved how that affected the overall book. I thought Maud was a strong, wonderful woman who I couldn’t help but care for. On the other hand, I found her daughter Helen to be a little irritating and inconsiderate always asking if Maud remembers things. But I also wonder if I felt this because of the narrator, which is a fascinating concept to explore.

You Do

I have never read a book quite like Elizabeth is Missing before. It is a very unique and curious read that I found very fascinating and really enjoyed. It may not be a book that I return to but one that I am definitely glad I actually tried as it was a very wonderful story. It was really interesting to see things from the other side for a change. If you’re looking for a moving, powerful and different book, then I would suggest you give this book a read.

Four Stars


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