FacebookGoogle PlusInstagramLinkedInTwitter
Presented by State Library Victoria

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey AND Last BTBR Review!

Wow! A whole load of reviews for the Burning Through Books Readathon and this is the last!

Luckily, I loved reading this one!

 

It is two days late (I meant to finish in February), but I did finish it last  Sunday, and just haven’t gotten around to writing the review.

 

In this darkly riveting debut novel—a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also a heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging—an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.

Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, who she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger.

But no one will listen to Maud—not her frustrated daughter, Helen, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth and save her beloved friend.

This singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present. But the clues she discovers seem only to lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II.

As vivid memories of a tragedy that occurred more than fifty years ago come flooding back, Maud discovers new momentum in her search for her friend. Could the mystery of Sukey’s disappearance hold the key to finding Elizabeth?

 

Well, that sounds like a rollercoaster, doesn’t it?

 

Three Things I Liked

  1. The overall mood
  2. A twist on dual perspectives
  3. The mysteries

 

  1. The whole idea of this mystery by written in the perspective of a lady with dementia is really good. I loved seeing the world through Maud’s eyes and understanding more about what life would be like for those with dementia as well as their family. When I was reading, I was wholly enveloped in the mood of the piece. Maud was sad, I was sad. Maud was angry, I was angry. Maud was worried about forgetting something, I was worried about forgetting something. I did get this lingering feeling of forgetting something a lot of the time after reading the book for a bit, and I love it when that happens.
  2. Unlike most of the dual (or more) perspective YA novels I have read recently, this is from the dual perspective… of the same person! Maud often fell into lapses of memory, and the reader along with her, but the interesting thing about this is neither Maud really knew the other, as Young Maud hadn’t become the other yet, and Old Maud could barely remember her past.
  3. The mysteries! I loved seeing how Old Maud stumbled around finding out what happened to Elizabeth. She constantly forgot what she was doing, but always managed to remember something was wrong… Elizabeth was missing. In Young Maud’s time, Sukey’s disappearance was the main focus of her days. I enjoyed the contrast, but also parallels, of these two mysteries and their unexpected connections.
I felt so sorry for Maud when she tries to tell people something and they never listen or make fun of her. It just seems so unfair on Maud, especially when she is so close to breaking down because of the weight of never being able to remember exactly what she wants.
If you have nothing to read, I would really recommend this one, and, if you don’t want to read anything, I have heard that BBC has made a movie adaption, although I haven’t watched it and therefore cannot comment on it (yet).

4 comments

imosshelf

That sounds super intriguing. I don’t think I’ve heard of a book with dual perspectives of the same person

2nd Mar, 20
sekhmet

Yeah, it’s like she has lapses of memory and I’m suddenly in another storyline, it’s super cool.

2nd Mar, 20
inky State Library Victoria

I have to read this!

3rd Mar, 20
inigomontoya

Such an epic and thrilling book. To those who haven't read it it's a real treat

13th Jun, 20