NOW A MAJOR BBC DRAMA
A SUNDAY TIMES TOP FIVE BESTSELLER
How do you solve a mystery when you can't remember the clues?
Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn't remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is unrecognizable - or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger.
But there's one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.
Because somewhere in Maud's damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about.
Everyone, except Maud . . .
Winner of the Costa First Novel Award
Shortlisted for National Book Awards Popular Fiction Book
Shortlisted for National Book Awards New Writer of the Year
Longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize
Longlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction
'A thrillingly assured, haunting and unsettling novel, I read it at a gulp' Deborah Moggach, author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
'Elizabeth Is Missing will stir and shake you: the most likeably unreliable of narrators, real mystery at its compassionate core...' Emma Donoghue, author of Room
'Resembling a version of Memento written by Alan Bennett' Daily Telegraph
'One of those mythical beasts, the book you cannot put down' Jonathan Coe, author of The Rotters Club
'Every bit as compelling as the frenzied hype suggests. Gripping, haunting' Observer
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Debut novelist Emma Healey enters the mind of a senile 82-year-old woman struggling to make sense of dual mysteries involving the disappearances of two significant women in her life. Elizabeth Is Missing is gorgeously written, drawing you into the disorienting perspective of its lovably maddening heroine, Maud. Healey’s story evocatively dramatises memory’s trickery, presenting events from 65 years back in vivid technicolor while today’s breakfast recedes in a fog.
British author Healey draws on her own grandmothers' experiences to create the distinctive narrator of her first novel. Maud Horsham can no longer function safely in the present, and one of the unanswered questions of this sad, unsettling psychological mystery is why Maud lives alone in the south of England, with only a little part-time help and daily visits from Helen, her grown daughter. When Maud becomes obsessed with the apparent disappearance of Elizabeth, "the only friend I have left," her already erratic life becomes chaotic. All of her attempts to find Elizabeth, including visits to the police, are unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Maud's search for Elizabeth elicits memories of another disappearance that of her sister, Sukey, back in 1948. Few readers may want to journey through the mind of a person with dementia, but Healey demonstrates that an absorbing tale can indeed be written from such a perspective.
Initially I didn't hold out much hope for this book and really wasn't sure what to expect from it. When I started reading it, I hardly put it down over the course of the few days it took to finish it and I was surprised at the unexpected ending. Healey managed to turn a personal and touching subject matter that was quite upsetting into a crime novel!
With several different plots throughout including Mauds past and Sukey missing, Mauds present and Elizabeth missing combined with the actual present timeline of Maud facing ongoing dementia issues provides ongoing interest for the reader throughout and kept me interested in all plots.
Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Is this my future!
I have now read this book twice and if anything it was even better second time around. The observation of family relations is excellent. The sympathetic treatment of dementia is amazing.I think Anyone who has contact with dementia sufferers would find Emma's insights helpful. On another level it is an excellent murder mystery.