This blog is about my literary adventures in different genres. I like variety in my reading and will read books from most genres but particulary book with some literary merit.
Elizabeth is Missing is told from the perspective of Maud, an 82-year-old woman who suffers from Alzheimer. Maud is trying to lead her life as well as possible. With all her struggles there is one thing that bothers her in particular: her friend Elizabeth is missing. While trying to find her, Maud remembers another unsolved mystery from her youth: shortly after the end of WWII her sister Sukey disappeared never to be seen again.
As the story evolves, Maud’s condition slowly but steadily deteriorates. In the beginning she still is able to lead a halfway decent life and always recognizes her daughter and granddaughter. After she is made to move in with her daughter she can’t adjust to the new place and believes her daughter and granddaughter to be strangers most of the time.
The reader slowly finds out more about what happened to Elizabeth and Sukey. What makes this book so extraordinary is that as Maud tells her story and a picture is slowly evolving for the reader, Maud is forgetting what happened. The only thing she always remembers is that Elizabeth is missing. This thought occupies her mind until the very end when all mysteries have been solved – something Maud doesn’t remember anymore.
The book is written is a very light way that often makes you want to laugh but also plucks your heartstrings. What is going on in an Alzheimer patient’s mind probably couldn’t have been described any better than Emma Healey does here.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to read a book from a new and different perspective. There have been comparisons to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and I can only agree with those. Both books involve a mystery solved be a person who doesn’t fit into your usual detective models and who also isn’t the type you normally deal with.
(I received a free digital copy via Penguin/NetGalley)