ABOUT THE BOOK:
Frustratingly, no one seems willing to help Maud find her: not the police nor Elizabeth’s son - not even Maud’s own daughter or granddaughter. It’s like they’re hiding something.
Maud resolves to take matters into her own hands, and begins digging for the truth. There are many clues, but unhelpfully, they all seem to point to another unsolved disappearance: that of Maud’s sister Sukey just after the war.
Could the mystery of Sukey’s disappearance lead Maud to the truth about Elizabeth?
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Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy is a 2014 Harper Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
For me this was a stunning novel, not only as a
When her sister disappeared, Maud was driven nearly mad by it
I found myself feeling intensely angry with Helen and the police and Elizabeth's son, Peter. While I know it is so difficult to deal with a parent suffering from dementia, and I am certainly not making light of that burden, I couldn't help but feel irritation at Helen's making faces at Maud behind her back or dismissing her symptoms with the doctor or a thousand other ways she was rather unkind to her mother. I mean, this was her mother!! She resented every single thing she had to do for her and blamed her brother for not helping out more, which of course I would have to agree with that, and realistically this happens more often than people realize among siblings. Helen performs her duties admirably, but it's seldom she shows any real empathy or tenderness for her mother.
The two mysteries, the cold case, if you will, and the current mystery of Elizabeth's disappearance is compelling, mostly because we know that there is something twisted up in Maud's mind and our frustration is as deep as hers. We know on one level that Elizabeth's disappearance is more of a catalyst for the deeply buried trauma of Maud's memories regarding her sister, but there is also a feeling of foreboding in regards to Elizabeth, mainly because Maude simply
I think at times there are books placed in a rather generic genre classification, like mystery, suspense or psychological thriller, and that fits in this case, no doubt, BUT, it also leads people to draw a certain expectation of what to expect, and then perhaps, as could be the case with this book, the reader isn't quite sure what to think. The mystery is certainly understated, but I'm afraid many missed the poignancy of the story and the truly remarkable thing the mind really is.
While, Maud was mostly unaware of what she has ultimately revealed by insisting Elizabeth was missing, it is astounding what she has managed to accomplish here. No, this is not exactly a whodunit in the traditional sense. Yes, it is difficult to read, and is very emotional and yes, it is slow moving without many of the elements most mysteries employ.
So, I suppose it might have been best to have added this one to the literary fiction or contemporary fiction category along with mystery/ suspense to give the potential buyer an idea of what lay ahead. I thought this was a well thought out novel that maybe went over the heads of some who perhaps are not in any way familiar with dementia other than what they see on television. If you know someone with this disease, I can think you would look at this book with a different perspective. If you are interested in reading the typical mystery novel, police procedural, detective, forensic, sort of thing, then keep going.
But, if you are looking for something that digs a little deeper into the human psyche and examines the long term emotional effects of loss, crime, guilt and in some ways even redemption, give this one a look.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Emma Healey grew up in
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