Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Review: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

A mystery, an unsolved crime and one of the most unforgettable characters since Mark Haddon's Christopher. Meet Maud ...

'Elizabeth is missing' reads the note in Maud's pocket in her own handwriting, and the one on the wall.

Maud's been getting forgetful. She keeps buying peach slices when she has a cupboard full, forgets to drink the cups of tea she's made and writes notes to remind herself of things. But Maud is determined to discover what has happened to her friend, Elizabeth, and what it has to do with the unsolved disappearance of her sister Sukey, years back, just after the war.

A fast-paced mystery, an unforgettable voice: you will laugh and cry but you'll never forget Maud.
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey is an absolutely beautiful book!  I've never read anything like it, and it's one of the few books that keeps me thinking.  I received a copy of the book for my honest review.

The subject of aging and dementia is forefront in today's society and Healey does a masterful job with 80-yr old Maud.  Written in her voice, I could feel Maud's frustration with her memory over her missing friend as well as what happened to her sister decades ago.  As the story progresses, Maud's memory deteriorates even more.  

Despite the memory struggles, Maud never gives up.  She writes herself notes, she tries everything she can think of to find her friend Elizabeth.  Maud's flashbacks to her childhood when her sister went missing show how strong she was even then, always pushing to find the truth.  I found myself crying, realizing that even if she found out what happened to Elizabeth and her sister (or if perhaps she had already found out) that she would never remember.  So she would always be searching.

The story shows the pain children go through as their parents age and can't take care of themselves; the difficult decisions that have to be made.  Maud's daughter and granddaughter have to endure her repeatedly not recognizing them.  It reminded me of my father and his mother, and left me wary of the future with my aging parents.

Elizabeth is Missing is charming and hauntingly provocative.  Do yourself a favor and read it.

 I give this book 4 Bookworms.

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