authors, Books, reviews

Elizabeth Is Missing review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Elizabeth Is Missing is written by Emma Healey and this is in fact her first novel. It also won the Costa Book Awards in 2014. She has also written Whistle In The Dark which focuses on teenage depression which I would be quite interested to read.

Elizabeth Is Missing is about an elderly woman called Maud who suffers with dementia and often forgets what she is doing, in the middle of doing it, resulting in a lot of forgotten cups of tea. Her daughter and carer often leave notes for her and Elizabeth herself will write notes and put them in her pocket which she goes through often. The most common one she’s written: Elizabeth is missing. As no one will listen to her or help her, Maud is going to have to look and find her friend herself.

This is another freebie I got from work as a teacher was having a clear out. It’s not the type of book I’d normally pick up so experimenting with different genres without sacrificing your bank balance is a good idea!

Thanks to lockdown, I am reading a lot more than usual anyway and, with it being sunny, a lot of time is being spent making the most of my garden (even if it is small). This one took about 3 afternoons to read.

On Emma Healey’s website, it describes the genre as a missing person mystery which seems accurate! Some bits are fast paced others are quite slow. I wouldn’t say it had me gripped and it was quite easy to guess what had happened to both Elizabeth and Maud’s sister Sukey. However, saying that, it was still interesting just from the rate that Maud was getting more and more forgetful as her dementia took hold. I quite liked how it went from a flashback to present day in a way that was confusing but purposefully to show that Maud herself was getting mixed up with things that happened in the past and present day events.

Maud was a character I felt really sorry for and did pity quite a bit. The way she starts an activity and then a few minutes later has no idea what she’s doing but makes up something to justify it, as if trying to make herself feel better.

Her daughter Helen was another character I felt was done well. It might seem mean seeing her getting frustrated with her mum but I can imagine it would feel like that, having to constantly repeat yourself and not having any help from other family members (Maud’s son lives abroad). You can definitely feel Helen’s exhaustion as the story goes on.

I have since found out that the there is a film of this on BBC Iplayer so I might have to check that out. I did enjoy this book but just for a one time read. I can’t imagine myself rereading it like I do with some of my other books. I think I’ve now reread The Hunger Games about 4 times and who knows how many times I’ve reread the Harry Potters. So yes, it was enjoyable but one to now pass on to a housemate or the charity shop!  

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