Elizabeth is Missing

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.IMG_0761

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!

The Shock of the Fall Book review

Thoughtfully written and a pleasure to read. The Shock of the Fall, by Nathan Filer has won the Costa Coffee Book awards 2013 and it could not have been more deserved. Matthew Holmes retells the story of his childhood and his battles with his illness. Matthew’s story focuses on the loss of his brother Simon and the way in which he grieves. The innocence of Matthew shines through the novel, which in return, makes his character’s childhood more relatable.IMG_1800

The novel is written in a variety of formats, making Nathan Filer’s first novel seem truly original. If you prefer reading diary entries or letters within a book then this book will have you hooked. Filer’s novel can read like a diary whilst the layout maintains the structure of a novel. Although the main structure is novel-like; paragraphs and chapters use various formats such as font sizes and styles, repetition and drawings to help describe Matthew’s story. Here is a small piece of The Shock of the Fall in which the Daily Telegraph describes as ‘bittersweet and wonderfully etched.’

‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce you to my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in IMG_1801a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

Although Matthew’s illness and grief are significant elements in this novel, it is Matthew’s actions that truly make this novel so moving. 

I personally feel that it is a must read, however if you wish to have a look at the Daily Telegraph’s review then please feel free to here.