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cook*create*read: Review: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Published by Penguin 2015
Source: Gift

Read more about the author:  Emma Healey

The Blurb
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.  Sometimes her home is unrecognisable - or her daughter Helen seems 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 ...


I recently bought this book with some vouchers I received a few months back, and was drawn to it because the blurb reminded me of a wonderful book I read some time ago, Still Alice by Lisa Genova.  And while there are similarities between the two books (both main protagonists suffer from dementia, and both books deal with the chaos and heartbreak this disease brings with it) they are also very different.

In Elizabeth is Missing, Emma Healey weaves in a wonderful mystery/crime story that adds an extra element to the tragedy of dementia.  As we witness Maud's gradual descent further into her illness, snippets of her memory are revealed and the mystery builds. I was a little worried there would be some loose ends, but thankfully everything was tied up in a very neat, if perhaps slightly unrealistic, way.

Maud's daughter, Helen, is a very interesting character as she struggles with the frustration and heartache of slowly losing her mother to dementia.  At times I wanted to shake her, and at others I wanted to cry for her.   I would've liked to read more from her viewpoint, but the story is wonderfully told solely through Maud and her jumbled mind.

A sad and heartbreaking book.  That's two in a row now!


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