Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Elizabeth is Missing is a quirky and unusual book, which manages to be funny, engaging and emotional, as well as real page-turner.

Maud is forgetful. She puts things down and can’t remember where she left them. Or even what they are. She digs up gardens with her bare hands and doesn’t know why. She asks questions about marrows and reads roadsigns out loud. Sometimes her daughter seems like a complete stranger.

Maud doesn’t know much. But she does know that Elizabeth is missing. It says so on a note in her pocket. Nobody else seems to realise or even care, but Maud is determined to find Elizabeth. If only she could remember things for more than a minute…

This is a beautifully written book about old age and a failing mind. Written from Maud’s point of view, it flicks seamlessly from life in the present day to her childhood – as memories of the past get triggered by her daily life. Sometimes she forgets who she is and where she is, as her mind flits backwards and forwards and her daughter becomes her mother and then a complete stranger.

She may be confused, but Maud is slowly piecing together the answer to a long-forgotten mystery. Is it really Elizabeth that is missing and will anyone listen to Maud and help her get to the bottom of a seventy-year-old case?

This is a brilliant book, which could be disturbing, but isn’t because the writer, Emma Healey, respects the character of Maud rather than makes fun of her.

It is a crime novel without the drama, which should appeal to readers of literary, crime and humorous novels.

Elizabeth is Missing is Emma Healey’s first novel and a worthy winner of the Costa First Novel Award in 2014.

Elizabeth is Missing, Book review, Emma Healey

Author: Sarah Mummy

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12 Comments

  1. Ooh this might be my kind of easy read. I am going to come back here to get a list once baby arrives and my aim is to read!!

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    • I loved reading when my kids were little, I got through so many books! This is a really lovely book. It makes you think, but it’s not disturbing.

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    • I’m sure you would enjoy it, it’s quite a unique book!

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    • You’re very welcome! You should definitely read it, I”m sure you would love it!

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    • Thanks very much, it’s a great book. I”ve never read anything quite like it before.

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  2. I love the idea of a mystery in which the protagonist keeps forgetting what has happened! I seem to spend most of the day trying to remember things so will definitely identify with this one! #readwithme

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  3. This sounds like a great read I will have to pop this on my wishlist thank you #readwithme

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  4. This sounds right up my street! Love a mystery like this. Thanks for sharing #readwithme

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  5. This sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the great review. x
    #readwithme

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