The book: Elizabeth is missing
The Author: Emma Healey
So this is my first book review ever on my blog! This year I have really made an effort & got back into reading. I’m even keeping a list on my phone of the books I have read so far in 2015. I’m not one of these people that manages to get through lots of different books each month, however aiming for 1 or 2 reads is working well for me at the moment! After chatting with Lorna about my rekindled love with reading she suggested getting together with a few other girls to create a blogger book club. The first book we chose to read was Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. A book I had actually already started before the suggestion was made as my friend Shelley had recommended it to me.
Having always being into creative writing from a young age, it was inevitable that Emma Healey would bring out a book later in life. After studying at university and working in various book and coffee shops. She put pen to paper and penned her first Novel Elizabeth is Missing. Little did she know that It would be this novel that would win her the Costa Debut Novel Award 2014. (Along with being short listed for other awards) Having heard all this along with rave reviews from those who had already read the book I was keen to get stuck in and get reading!
As I don’t want to say anything that would be a spoiler, I am just going to share with you the blurb from the back of the book!
Maud is Forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is recognizable – or her daughter Helen seems a total Stranger.
But there is one thing Maud is sure of: Her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it. Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy year old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about….except Maud.
Overall I Really enjoyed the book. It’s written in a first person narration style, so you can really feel a connection with Maud. You feel the confusion she goes through as someone suffering from dementia. (Something I am fortunate enough not to have had to deal with first hand but I know a few friends who have) It opened my eyes up to the struggle they have with simple tasks like making themselves a drink! So on that observation alone, I really enjoyed getting an insight of the world of someone suffering with a mental illness. It made me realise who little we talk about it in reality. Dementia along with other illnesses aren’t often the focus in literature, so I feel Emma Healey has done a fantastic job of bringing it to our attention. Elizabeth is Missing is a different genre to the usual Chick Lit style I am used to, however it was nice to shake things up a bit and try something new. As the blurb suggests there is a seventy year old mystery yet to be solved that is mentioned throughout the book through Flashbacks to Maud as her younger self. At first I struggled a bit when the flashbacks presented themselves. However at times it could become quite intense reading about the present day Maud and her daily struggles with her illness, so the flashbacks back to the 1940’s were a welcome addition to break up the intensity a bit. As the book progresses everything fits together nicely, questions are answered and you understand the importance of these flashbacks to when Maud was a young girl.
I was pretty gripped to the story of Maud and her friend Elizabeth, so much so I was able to finish this 275 page book fairly quickly on my commute to and from work in the week. It's a very beautiful and cleverly written novel which i would highly recommend you check out if you want something a little different to read. It is intense at times, but I think that is what made me finish it so quickly. I was just desperate to find out just where Maud's friend Elizabeth was!
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?