Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, 2014, paperback, £7.99.
‘How do you solve a mystery when you can’t remember the clues?’
Maud is trying to seek Elizabeth, her friend, however there is a slight problem. Maud has dementia. This novel invites its readers to experience the struggles that dementia-sufferers have on a daily basis. With this in mind, the novel can sometimes feel like a difficult read. Scenarios can sometimes repeat itself and the past and present can easily be blurred. I will admit that because of this, I did at times find the novel quite slow. Having said that I was so pleased I continued with it as the more I read, the more gripping the plot became. As far as being a mystery/crime novel, it does not disappoint. It is gripping and at times quite dark, yet turn another page and you will discover Maud wanting to make toast again. It truly is a novel that is a paradox; it is humorous yet serious, light yet dark. Unexpected turns are taken when you least expect it, so much so that you may still be questioning the novel once you have finished. However I will add that there is closure towards the end of the novel, so please do not let that put you off reading such an intriguing piece.
The writing in this novel has been carefully selected for its main character Maud and demonstrates a thorough understanding of dementia. I applaud Emma Healey for crafting such a literary piece that has proven to capture such a diverse audience. The writing has a strong sense of the past and portrays a passionate woman in both the past and present of this book. Personality oozes between the pages, as Maud reminds the readers of the stories the elderly tell their children and grandchildren. My advice is to read this book with an open mind because along Maud’s journey, who’ll know what you will find!