Book Review: Elizabeth is Missing

Maud is 82 years old, and she forgets a lot of things. She goes to shops, and then can’t remember what she was there for. She can’t always tell you the day of the week, or when she last ate. Sometimes she doesn’t recognise her own family members. She has pockets full of notes to remind her of things, but she’s not sure whether the notes are old or new. Maud is sure of only one thing. Her friend Elizabeth is missing.

This book wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be at first, but it was still amazing. Emma Healey tells the story through Maud’s eyes, and creates a sense of equal parts confusion and frustration throughout that feels very authentic. (My grandfather is 83, and he forgets a lot of things. He is often confused and/or frustrated, so I can relate.) As Maud’s short term memory slips away, she often finds herself drawn back to memories of her youth: the end of World War II, rationing, black market supplies, and her sister Sukey.

I’m going to have to stop there, as I don’t want to go spoiling it for anyone. I won’t say, ‘I couldn’t put it down’, but there were times when putting it down was a struggle… Read it if you like… actually, I’ve never read anything quite like this before, so I don’t really know what to compare it to. I guess I’d describe it as understated family drama, but don’t let my inability to classify Elizabeth is Missing put you off reading it!

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