A unique story. I haven't read or even heard about a plot in which the main character's got dementia and narrates though her daily life. I truly enjoyed it and only wish it were translated into Catalan. It made me very sad at times and made me think of relatives with the same condition and how their offspring and closer members of the family react. At times it was terrifying. Not in a ghoulish way but to think we might be subject to that fate. Definitely worth a read. A good novel for bookclub reading and those with elder relatives....Continua
“Elizabeth is missing” is the sole notation made on most of the innumerable notes that Maud Horsham constantly makes and puts in any available pocket, as a hoped-for aid to her increasingly failing memory. Maud is in an advancing state of dementia, and more often than not cannot remember where she is, or with whom, even when the latter is her daughter, or her granddaughter (sometimes mistaking the latter for the former). But she knows that her best friend - – indeed, just about her only remaining friend, as she remembers “The others are in homes or in graves” - - appears to be missing. She takes any path she can conjure up to try to solve the mystery, resorting to putting an ad in the local newspaper for any information anyone may have as to her whereabouts.
And her friend Elizabeth is not the only ‘disappeared’ person Maud is trying to track down. Even 70 years later (which doesn’t matter so much when one has no idea of time frames), Maud is still trying to find her sister, Sukey, missing since the time after the London blitz, when Maud was 15 years old and England was still trying to recover from the war, enduring rationed food and bombed-out homes. The narrative, such as it is, jumps back and forth in time, from looking for her sister to searching for her friend, sometimes for both at seemingly the same time. It is often difficult just to follow where Maud is, both for Maud herself as well as for the reader.
This book is unlike any I have ever read. Maud is the first-person narrator, and that narrative is as disjointed as Maud’s mind, conveying, quite convincingly, that state of being. I must admit to a feeling of ‘there but for the grace of G-d go . . .’ well, I, or indeed any of us. The novel is one that literally haunted me well after I had finished reading it, and I suspect it may do that for many readers.
I've also written: would only take one bad lot. But that's true of everything. And anyway you can't go around being afraid of everyone. You have to let some people into your home.
Elizabeth Is Missing, the debut novel by Emma Healey, is billed as a mystery but is more so the story of 80 year old Maud's decline into dementia. The book draws well the image of a woman trying to hold onto the fragments of her memory, and in doing so, solve the mystery of her sister's disappearance decades ago. It is a sad story that could have been told as a short story or novella.
Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2014/07/elizabeth-is-missing.html...Continua