Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review: Elizabeth Is Missing

Elizabeth is Missing
by Emma Healey

Why did you choose this book? the synopsis intrigued me
When did you read this book? June 2014
Who should read this book? readers who don’t mind a difficult topic with a bit of sadness
Source: TLC Book Tours
Here is a synopsis of Elizabeth is Missing from TLC Book TOURS

In this darkly riveting debut novel, a sophisticated psychological mystery, one woman will stop at nothing to find her best friend, who seems to have gone missing. . . .

Despite Maud’s growing anxiety about Elizabeth’s welfare, no one takes her concerns seriously—not her frustrated daughter, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son—because Maud suffers from dementia. But even as her memory disintegrates and she becomes increasingly dependent on the trail of handwritten notes she leaves for herself in her pockets and around her house, Maud cannot forget her best friend. Armed with only an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth—no matter what it takes.

As this singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present, the clues she uncovers lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: that of 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’s search for Elizabeth develops a frantic momentum. Whom can she trust? Can she trust herself?

A page-turning novel of suspense, Elizabeth Is Missing also hauntingly reminds us that we are all at the mercy of our memory. Always compelling, often poignant, and at times even blackly witty, this is an absolutely unforgettable novel.

My Review

Wow! This is an amazing book! Maud is an elderly woman with dementia, who is convinced her friend has disappeared… and no one believes her! The writing is magnificent! Though it is not possible to know exactly the thought process of a person suffering from dementia, I think it must be very much like the author describes. It feels so authentic; we can feel Maud’s confusion and panic as she loses her train of thought, the embarrassment when she forgets a word, and the anger when everyone treats her as a child. And anyone who has had experience with an Alzheimer’s patient will relate to the frustration Maud’s daughter, Helen, feels when she has to continuously answer the same questions, and to redirect her mother’s behavior. It is this realism that also makes the book so difficult to read.

As we read, we not only see how Maud’s dementia becomes progressively worse, but we also relive her past. Almost seventy years ago, Maude’s older sister just disappeared without a trace, and the mystery was never solved. As Maude’s memories become jumbled, she is no longer sure what she remembers of her sister’s disappearance and what she remembers of Elizabeth’s disappearance! Of course with dementia as the subject, there is not a completely happy ending, but this is a book well worth reading, both for individual readers and as a book club selection. It is hard to put down once you get started!

About Emma Healey

Emma Healey holds a degree in bookbinding and an MA in creative writing. Elizabeth Is Missing is her first novel. She lives in the UK.

Find out more about Emma at her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

My Rating:  ★★★1/2   3-1/2 Stars

This book review is included in a tour by TLC Book Tours. I received a copy of the book in return for an honest review, which you can read above.

Emma’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, June 10th: Anita Loves Books
Thursday, June 12th: Doing Dewey
Monday, June 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, June 17th: Always With a Book
Wednesday, June 18th: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, June 19th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, June 23rd: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, June 24th: A Bookworm’s World
Wednesday, June 25th: Ace and Hoser Blook
Thursday, June 26th: BoundbyWords
Monday, June 30th: Book-alicious Mama
Tuesday, July 1st: Time 2 Read
Wednesday, July 2nd: Tina’s Book Reviews
Thursday, July 3rd: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, July 7th: Tales of a Book Addict
Tuesday, July 8th: Literally Jen
Thursday, July 10th: 5 Minutes For Books

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  1. Love the sound of this. It's on my TBR list.

  2. Despite the sadness if the writing is so good, it would be worth the read.

  3. Alzheimers and dementia are the disorders that scare me the most - I think I could deal with just about anything else.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour for this amazing book! I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.