Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Maud has problems with her memory. She finds herself stocking her cupboards full of peaches because she can’t remember what to buy at the shop. To help, she leaves notes to herself around the house and in her handbag to remind herself:

Coffee helps memory

And

No more peach slices

Elizabeth is a good friend to her; they see each other every Thursday, so when Maud finds a note telling her that she still hasn’t heard from Elizabeth, she gets concerned. Still, it could always be her memory playing tricks again.

Maud’s narrative makes her endearing, she seems like such a lovely character from the outset. It’s quite clear that she will have a huge struggle to find Elizabeth when she can barely remember five minutes ago yet I found myself willing her on regardless. Emma Healey has done a wonderful job of keeping the story moving whilst representing the confusion of an old lady with no memory.

The search for Elizabeth is intertwined with flashbacks to when her sister went missing as a young woman after the war. The include her sister’s husband, Frank, the ‘mad woman’ who was always hanging around, and Douglas, the lodger. I expected the search for Elizabeth to take up more of the book than it did, but in the end i was pleased to get much more than a story of a forgetful old woman looking for her friend. Maud is funny and kind but very confused. Her family struggles to keep up with her and this is obviously quite frustrating.

I’m looking forward to Emma Healey’s next book!

4/5 stars

If you like this you might also like Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Get the book here (UK) Elizabeth is Missing

Get the book here (US) Elizabeth Is Missing

I received this book in exchange for a review on Mumsnet 

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