Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

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 unrecognisable – 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…

I picked up this book in Sainsbury’s to take to NCS with me as I knew I’d have a couple of long journeys ahead in which I could devour this 275 page novel. For less than a fiver, I wasn’t expecting the truly moving story I was faced with. Maud’s story is told from her point of view, which makes her memory loss really vivid and heartbreakingly real. Her relationships with her family and friends are bought into focus a lot throughout the story, and I found it a really interesting and important read for people struggling to come to terms with memory-loss related conditions.

This novel covers two stories; Maud’s fixation with her friend Elizabeth, and the disappearance of Maud’s sister Sukey in her childhood. The transition between the two works really nicely and keeps the plot interesting as it makes you guess the outcome of both events. I actually found myself as interested in finding out what happened to Sukey as I was about the mystery of Elizabeth which I didn’t expect initially as the Sukey plot started out quite slowly.

Maud writes herself post-its to try and combat her memory loss and make notes of the important things. She often repeats things that she’s already done, like buying the same things from the shops or having the same conversations with her family. These elements are what make the story so realistic for me and really added to my enjoyment. I also felt that the ending was really cleverly done and this book was definitely worth the read!

I can’t really think of anything negative to say about this book, but I rated it 4/5 stars on Goodreads so it wasn’t quite perfect! I think I would have just liked to delve a bit deeper into Maud’s past as it was quite a quick read. That said, I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a great quick and easy read this summer!

Lazy Thoughts