Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Maud, an 82 year old lady with dementia, lives at home with a carer and her daughter coming in daily to help her. Notes are left all over the house and in Maud's pockets to reminder her of things or to remind her not to do things, like buy more canned peaches. Maud has moments of lucidity and remembers that she hasn't seen her friend Elizabeth in a while. Elizabeth is missing. The notes in her pockets confirm this, she hasn't heard from her. Maud visits Elizabeth's house, looks inside, and sees that there are boxes. She visits the police department multiple times to report Maud missing, to the point where the police officer recognizes her. She repetitively calls Elizabeth's son and she announces Elizabeth's disappearance over and over to her daughter. Why does no one seem to care?
While Maud tries to find Elizabeth in the present day, she also has flashbacks to when she was a child and her sister disappeared. The tenant in her house had some sort of relationship with her sister and her sister's husband had a violent temper. Yet no one knows where she went and when her suitcase is found in a hotel it leaves even more questions. We learn though that Maud had a theory about what happened and it presents itself in the present day Maud with an interesting cross over in past and present.
The most interesting element of this novel to me was Maud's dementia. I've never read a story before where you're in the mind of the main character whom has dementia. You read how easy it is for them to lose their train of thought and how notes don't really help because they question the notes and do what they want anyways. This could be a tough read for anyone that knows someone with the disease. My grandmother had dementia but I feel like this helped me understand why she would get upset with us when we got frustrated with her.
The less enjoyable part of this book for me was the mystery part. It wasn't all that suspenseful or surprising. When Maud started telling her story from the past I was wishing to get back to her present-self as I felt this part rather forced, trying to make the story more suspenseful than it was or needed to be.
The ending of this book was satisfying, though fairly depressing, but I couldn't imagine how to end this story without it being sad.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of their book tour.
First Line: "Maud? Was I boring you so much that you'd rather stand outside in the dark?"