Elizabeth Is Missing

By Emma Healey,

Book cover of Elizabeth Is Missing

Book description


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…

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Why read it?

7 authors picked Elizabeth Is Missing as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book inspired me to write my own account of dealing with my mum’s Alzheimer’s.

This darkly comic yet gripping novel reveals the humorous aspects of the disease. Maud, an eighty-year-old who grapples with forgetting even the cup of tea she just made or recognising her own daughter, surprisingly unravels a seventy-year-old mystery.

The story delicately weaves warm and uplifting moments with touches of comedy, anxiety, and sheer terror that arise when one realises the advancing years and the struggle to be heard in a society that often overlooks the elderly. The portrayal of dementia in this novel is both…

From Vered's list on the light side of Alzheimer’s.

This is one of those novels you think you know what is happening until you realize you do not – a psychological mystery that centers on the aging brain.

Maud is desperate to find her dear friend and also ward off what she believes is an opportunistic threat by her friend’s son. Told in first person, we experience first-hand the way in which elders are dismissed, their fears minimalized, and their capabilities understated.

The level of tension is gripping to the last page. I don’t want to spoil anything – prepare to be mesmerized

From Randy's list on aging friends and lovers.

Dementia is one of the most common and cruellest neurological diseases, with someone in the world developing the condition every three seconds. In Elizabeth is Missing, Emma Healey very deftly uses loss of memory and identity to craft a compelling psychological thriller spanning two timelines. As dementia takes its terrible toll, Maud loses her grip on everyday life and becomes obsessed that her dear friend Elizabeth is in terrible danger. Her memories of the past, however, remain vivid, and the events surrounding the disappearance of her sister Sukey after World War II become increasingly entwined with her present-day search…

A seventy-year-old mystery is solved by an eighty-year-old who can’t remember to drink the cup of tea she’s just made, or even recognize her own daughter. This is a book I wish I’d written! Emma Healey’s darkly comic yet gripping novel was a deserved bestseller and has remained with me long after I first read it. Maud, the unlikely heroine, is an unreliable narrator (no spoiler there) but one that reveals how society too often belittles and patronizes people living with dementia. In trying to make sense of the clues she hopes will lead her to her missing friend Elizabeth,…

This story is heart-stoppingly gripping. Emma clearly has gone through the struggles of looking after someone who is losing their memory. Her characters are brilliantly rooted in the real world. The way she understands her main character can remember what happened decades ago but can’t remember what she did a few minutes ago really hits home with a punch in the stomach. 

From Warren's list on strong female leads and dark secrets.

Another Maud, but this one is trying to solve a crime rather than committing them. This book lets us into the mind of an old woman with memory loss in a completely believable fashion, whilst keeping the reader hooked from the start by the mystery of a missing woman. Elizabeth is missing, but so, in her own way, is Maud, as she struggles to remember the clues that will lead her back to her friend. An absorbing and very satisfying read.

Even though Maud is old and forgetful, she’s absolutely sure her friend Elizabeth has gone missing – and puts up a fight to find out what’s happened to her. This warm and uplifting story captures the comedy, anxiety, and sheer terror of finding out you and your friends are old, and no one will listen to you. Such a sympathetic and moving portrait of dementia.

From Jacqueline's list on brilliant old women as heroines.

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