Elizabeth is Missing

Elizabeth is Missing is my #1 recommendation for the summer!  It is the brilliantly written first novel from young writer Emma Healey. It’s shockingly sad, a bit frightening (is dementia in the cards for you?!) yet at the same time a hilariously funny book. Maud is an aging grandmother who is suffering from dementia. Her mind isn’t what it used to be. She walks around with her pockets stuffed with little reminders of where she’s going or what she’s doing… just in case she forgets. Slowly her day to day life becomes increasingly more difficult, not only for her but also her daughter Helen. Maud is sure her close friend Elizabeth is missing. She’s not at home where she should be, so obviously she’s gone missing. But no one believes her because she gets everything in a muddle, and confuses her facts (Has she already has toast today or should she go make herself yet another piece?… Why is the staircase on the opposite side it usually is?) She goes to Elizabeth’s son, even the police, but no one believes her – because she’s a dotty old lady with dementia. She even puts an “advert” in the local paper. (This will make you laugh so hard your sides will hurt – guaranteed!) Things eventually get worse when Maud starts mixing up the present with the past when her sister Sukey disappeared without a trace shortly after WWII. It’s only a great writer who can convey the muddle in Maud’s mind so convincingly, and Healey does is magnificantly. This is a brilliantly written book. I read somewhere that it all stemmed from a paper submitted to a writing class where her teachers were astute enough to realize that they had someone special in their midst. And that someone special has turned that paper into a very special book. You MUST read this! *****

Leave a Comment