This is a novel that will leave you staring into nothingness as you try to process what has just happened. It will send shivers down your spine, make you read erratically and send your head into a spin. You will try to piece together each repeated word, each small image that captures the chapters theme but trust me, no matter what you think the outcome of this novel will be, you will be wrong.
Elizabeth is Missing is a haunting novel of love and mystery. Maud is a forgetful old woman who can’t remember where she is or why she went to the shops. She forgets her own daughter, doesn’t remember moving house and makes endless cups of tea that she forgets to drink. But one thing Maud does remember is that Elizabeth is missing.
Elizabeth is her friend and no one, not even Elizabeth’s own son, seems to care that she is missing. Maud begins her own search, visiting her house and placing missing ads in the paper, but this just makes her family angry and leaves Maud feeling frustrated. However, the search for Elizabeth slowly changes into the seventy-year-old mystery of her missing sister Sukey. Maud remembers her family’s hunt for Sukey, the questions surrounding her relationship with Douglas their lodger, and the nights out reminiscing with Sukey’s husband Frank. The two mysteries intertwine, confusing us and Maud as memories overlap, images merge with others until finally it all unravels in a gripping and heart-breaking conclusion.
This novel is perfectly written with no loose ends or hanging questions. The entire way through, the author, Emma Healey, leaves you guessing. As the plots begin to tangle, no amount of guessing will be right. There is no element of time in the novel as we read through the mind of Maud. Her Alzheimer’s grows more strongly as the book moves and at some points it is difficult to recognize if you are in a memory or in real time. Words begin to disappear for Maud and Healey uses other ways to show what is happening such as describing a pencil as a tiny lamp post. But even through the lack of correct words, everything is still understandable and leaves you with no frustration.
Elizabeth is Missing is a novel that will make you feel grateful for your ability to remember and feel sympathy for those who don’t. If you enjoy novels with twisting plots and a good mystery story, then this novel is for you.
Find Elizabeth for yourself by clicking HERE to get it at Book Depository.
Categories: Book Review
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