Family, Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

It seems as if I am on some streak for reading books where the main characters are senior citizens. Or maybe that is just the trend. Either way, this book is about an old woman. But that’s where the similarities end. In the other books, the story had a lightness to it but here, it is very muddled and dark. Anyways, I think I’ve given enough of a teaser. Time for my review!

Like I mentioned, this book is about Maud, an 82 year-old woman who is clearly losing her memory. She writes notes for herself constantly to remember things that she should or shouldn’t do. However, sometimes she gets the notes mixed up with the days. Recently, she keeps remembering that her friend, Elizabeth, is missing. And she is determined to find her. As she embarks on this quest, she starts to recall her past and her sister, Sukey, who went missing many many years ago. Soon, it is unclear whether the mystery of Elizabeth will be solved or the mystery of Sukey.

Okay so not a great review, I know. But it is a very confusing book! Reading a story from the viewpoint of a woman with dementia is quite a challenge; I’m sure writing it was even more of one! One thing I liked about this book was the richness of detail given to the past. It was vivid and beautiful and really made the mystery of Sukey relevant. And as I mentioned before, the way the author wrote was amazing, especially with such a difficult character type. However, I didn’t like this book very much. It was hard for me to follow sometimes and when the mystery was solved at the end, it seemed very abrupt and random. Even now, I feel like I need to reread the ending to see if I missed some connection. This story had me going in circles but not in a good way; there were many times when I just felt like putting it aside. Kudos to the author for their literary skills in character portrayal but the mystery story line itself falls short of my expectations.
If someone else has read this and strongly disagrees with me, I would love to hear from you in the hopes that you can change my mind!

Happy reading~

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