What if you could remember just one thing? Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn't remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Back home she finds the place horribly unrecognizable - just like she sometimes thinks her daughter Helen is a total stranger. But there's one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it. Because somewhere in Maud's damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about. Everyone, except Maud...
Elizabeth is Missing 3
- Contemporary fiction
- Publication Date:
- Penguin Books Ltd
- Country of origin:
- United Kingdom
- Dimensions (mm):
Click 'Notify Me' to get an email alert when this item becomes available
Click on Save to My Library / Lists
Click on My Library / My Lists and I will take you there
You can find this item in:
Best debut this year!
Maud, an elderly, forgetful lady knows her friend Elizabeth is missing because she’s written notes to remind herself. Debut author Healey has delivered a double mystery filled with suspense, memorable characters, delightful humour and heartfelt moments.
Poignant and gripping
Elizabeth is Missing by debut author Emma Healey is a poignant and gripping mystery about loss, memory and murder.
The narrative unfolds from the unique perspective of Maud Horsham, an eighty two year old mother and grandmother, suffering from progressive dementia. Maud relies on carefully written notes, and daily visits from a carer and her daughter Helen, to remember the things she forgets, but increasingly Maud's concerns have narrowed to the lack of contact from her closest friend, Elizabeth. While Helen, and others, dismiss her fears as a senile obsession, Maud is convinced something awful has happened and embarks on an investigation to find her missing friend.
Told with extraordinary insight into the complexities of a failing mind I was effortlessly drawn into Maud's muddled world. It is not an easy space to inhabit, especially if you have witnessed a similar decline in a loved one as I have, or fear a similar fate, as I do. Fleeting instances of lucidity add to the poignancy of the narrative as Maud slips between the past and the present, between remembering and forgetting.
Entwined with Maud's search for Elizabeth, and her everyday struggle with her failing memory, is a second narrative that reveals in 1946 Maud's married older sister, Sukey, vanished without a trace. It soon becomes clear that Maud's fears for her missing friend, Elizabeth, are tangled with the memories of Maud's sister's disappearance, and to solve one mystery, will be to solve the other.
The suspense of both mysteries are well maintained through out the novel and the past and present narratives flow seamlessly into each other. Despite the distressing nature of Maud's illness there are also moments of humour which helps to temper the bleak realities.
A clever and compelling novel, I thought Elizabeth is Missing was an engrossing read with an unforgettable protagonist. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
'Elizabeth is Missing' is a fantastic debut novel from Emma Healy. The narrator, Maud, an elderly, forgetful lady who knows her friend Elizabeth is missing because shes written notes to herself to remind her. As with other dementia sufferers, Maud slips between past memories and the present, and so reveals her sister also went missing over 70 years ago. Debut author Healey has delivered a double mystery filled with suspense, memorable characters, delightful humour and heartfelt moments. Mauds character is sympathetically, and accurately, portrayed, and the relationship between her and her daughter (whom she sometimes forgets) is especially poignant.