Elizabeth is Missing
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Elizabeth is Missing

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  2,770 ratings  ·  646 reviews
A mystery, an unsolved crime and one of the most unforgettable characters since Mark Haddon's Christopher. Meet Maud ...

'Elizabeth is missing' reads the note in Maud's pocket in her own handwriting, and the one on the wall.

Maud's been getting forgetful. She keeps buying peach slices when she has a cupboard full, forgets to drink the cups of tea she's made and writes notes...more
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published June 5th 2014 by Penguin UK (first published January 1st 2014)
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Elizabeth is missing!!!

This novel is quite creative and an unusual mix of several genres, since while the mystery is the lead genre, you also can find humor, romance, drama, even horror, maybe on this last one, not as you can expected but certainly it has elements truly horrific and creepy.

Elizabeth is... mmh... is... mmh... what was I saying?

Trying to explain what you can expect here, this is like "Memento" meets "Manhattan Murder Mystery" with some elements present on other films like "The Lad...more
Diane S.
Maude is 82 yrs.old and no longer lives solely in the present day. Her memories of the past and the disappearance of her sister Sukey have become confused with the disappearance of her friend in the present day, Elizabeth. Suffering from dementia, her days have become a jumble of things, images and thoughts that don't seem to fit.

I would imagine how challenging writing a book from the perspective of a woman suffering from this malady , but the author has done a wonderful job. At times humorous,...more
An old woman, whose memory is fading away slowly, is caught in the web of a mystery surrounding her missing best friend and her missing sister. Elizabeth is Missing written by Emma Healey is a thoroughly intriguing and a highly compelling novel.

Thank you Penguin for providing me with an ARC.

Maud is a 82years old woman, suffering from dementia. She is getting forgetful hence she writes notes to remind herself of petty things and to keep up with her own life. She couldn't reach her best friend El...more
Ivonne Rovira
My Cuban mother — God bless her soul — used to lament, “Ivonne, ¡llegar a viejo es lo último!” (Ivonne, getting old is the absolute worst!) Still in my 30s, I nodded sympathetically, but I really had no idea at all. Emma Healey’s Elizabeth Is Missing brought those memories back for me — rather ironic for a novel about the gradual fading of memory.

Elizabeth Is Missing ostensibly recounts how Maud Horsham, a tenacious 80-plus-year-old Englishwoman battling dementia, tries to investigate the abrup...more
Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.

I've had a copy of Elizabeth is Missing since last year, but wanted to leave it until closer to the release date to read it so I could be part of what I felt was sure to be an interesting conversation surrounding the book. I must say, my expectations were high given its early hype. Originally titled Strange Companions, it was much remarked upon for drawing global interest and sparking a bidding war between nine publishers at the London Book Fair;...more
"I feel as though I'm failing to catch something precious." This is a line taken out of context from the stunning debut Elizabeth Is Missing. Ultimately this is how I feel, that the few words I can say will fail to catch its essence.

Told in alternating time frames, it is the story of an elderly woman suffering many losses including friends, family, youth and memory. Described as both psychological and mystery fiction it is that but so much more. I found it touching and well plotted. As a woman...more
Susan Johnson
4.5 stars

Maud is 81 and knows something is wrong. Suffering from dementia or Alzheimers, she forgets things. There are notes for her all over house labeling items and giving her instructions such as "don't turn the burner on." She ends up places and has no idea why she's there. She goes to the grocery store and buys cans of peaches over and over again. She writes herself notes to remind her of things. She knows her friend, Elizabeth, is missing.

She starts to get worse and worse. She wanders an...more
This is one book I was really looking forward to reading. So when it arrived I picked it up right away to start reading. I actually thought this book would be more psychological thriller. It kind of did mess with my mind but the problem was that I found most of the characters lacking personalities. Also the story seemed to drag on and move at an incredibly slow pace with little action. Another thing that I did find distracting was the many different characters introduced though out the story wit...more
Elizabeth is Missing is told from the perspective of Maud, an 82-year-old woman who suffers from Alzheimer. Maud is trying to lead her life as well as possible. With all her struggles there is one thing that bothers her in particular: her friend Elizabeth is missing. While trying to find her, Maud remembers another unsolved mystery from her youth: shortly after the end of WWII her sister Sukey disappeared never to be seen again.
As the story evolves, Maud’s condition slowly but steadily deterior...more
Cleo Bannister
Meet Maud, she is in her eighties, suffering from dementia and looking for her dear friend from the Oxfam shop Elizabeth. Elizabeth is missing says one of the many notes she finds in her pocket, by her chair or on the hallway table, next to five undrunk cups of tea.

Anyone who knows someone who is in the early stages of this disease will find this quite hard to read at times. The confusion that rolls into the moments of lucidity is faithfully reproduced on each page as Maud scrabbles around her c...more
I would give this book 5stars but then it doesn't give me the i-can't-put-it-down feeling. But still, this is a great book. Who would know that a forgetful person can solve a mystery that have been remained unsolved for years?

Although, there are times when I feel like this isn't really about Elizabeth being missing.

Reading this book makes me understand old people. To be patient and kind to them. :)
I had a conflicted reaction with reading this book. On the one hand, I thought the main storyline was brilliant. The main character Maud is suffering from dementia but she knows something is not right and she struggles to remember, hence, every now and then she remembers that her friend Elizabeth is missing. On the other hand, the frustrating part is Maud suffers from dementia and struggles to remember. Author Healey has done a great job of writing the tangled thoughts of Maud but at times I fou...more
I’m not going to misbehave and write a full review so far in advance of the publication date, but I really just have to make my book loving friends aware of this wonderful book – due for publication by Penguin Books UK in June 2014. I was lucky enough to get an advance reading e-copy via netgalley, and I have to say I was blown away by it, wonderful writing, something really special and different, really original in its narration, and a quite fantastic read. I’ll review in full at a later date –...more
Robert Smith
Clever writing.

Which is not always a compliment. In this case the author manages to tell a story from inside the head of an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer's, who in every other paragraph has forgotten what she has just done or said, and still keep us involved in the narrative. She does this by alternated between the befuddled present and the character's remembered cogent youth. This past in spite of the confusing and unsettling mystery at its heart provides us not only with relief from t...more
What happens when an aging woman begins to lose her memory, bits and pieces at a time? When the past and the present seemingly come together until her identity slowly dissolves?

Set in England, "Elizabeth Is Missing" is that story, and as it unfolds in the first person narrative of Maud, the aging mother and grandmother, we are soon catapulted into her interior world, almost as if the losses are ours.

Most poignant of all is the terror and fear that Maud feels when she begins obsessively searching...more
Liz Wilkins
Coming June 5th From Penguin.

Thank you for the advanced copy via Netgalley.

Maud’s been getting forgetful. She keeps buying peach slices when she has a cupboard full, forgets to drink the cups of tea she’s made and writes notes to remind herself of things. But Maud is determined to discover what has happened to her friend, Elizabeth, because Elizabeth is missing..

I seem to have done something without realising it at the time and that is to read a few books all in a row that use memory as a tool t...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Elizabeth is Missing by debut author Emma Healey is a poignant and gripping mystery about loss, memory and murder.

The narrative unfolds from the unique perspective of Maud Horsham, an eighty two year old mother and grandmother, suffering from progressive dementia. Maud relies on carefully written notes, and daily visits from a carer and her daughter Helen, to remember the things she forgets, but increasingly Maud's concerns have narrowed to the lack of contact from her closest friend, Elizabeth....more
This was an interesting mystery. It is interesting because the investigation is pursued by Maud, an 82-year-old British woman suffering from advanced dementia. Poor Maud. She is confused and sometimes she knows why, but mostly she is just confused. Maud insists to her daughter, Helen, and everyone around her that her friend, Elizabeth, is missing. As one could guess, Maud’s search runs her around in circles and involves many written notes to herself. It also finds her in precarious situations th...more
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
'There's so much I can't remember, perhaps I have got it completely wrong,...'

Maud is 82 and has dementia, she forgets a lot of things, unable to recall what she's just done, what she was intending to do, which results in cups of tea left standing forgotten, trips to the shop that leave her baffled as to what she went for, and even more sadly, the inability at times to even recognise her daughter Helen or her granddaughter Katy. Maud keeps scribbled notes, crumpled in her pocket, lying around he...more

Elizabeth is missing - why will no-one listen?

Maud keeps making tea and toast, despite the stick notes in her kitchen. She wonders who is that old woman in the mirror is. She keeps finding notes in her pockets, and trying to decipher them. There are other things in her pockets, too - flower petals, a piece of a fingernail. There is dirt under her nails. She can't help thinking that these things are clues - but to what? Elizabeth is missing! Why will no-one do anything? And where is a good place...more
The central character of this wonderful debut novel is eighty two year old Maud Horsham. Maud lives alone, visited by her daughter, Helen, and Carla, a “carer in wolf’s clothing,” who delights in telling her horror stories about what happens to old people preyed upon by criminals. The only friend that makes Maud feel herself is Elizabeth; herself elderly and with poor eyesight. Unable to keep track of things now her memory is failing, Maud relies on her new ‘paper memory’ – a succession of notes...more
Very intense, but I should not have chosen the audiobook edition.

The story is told by Maud, a woman who is suffering from Alzheimer's. It is a bit of a mystery novel, because Maud is looking for her friend Elizabeth, who might or might not be missing. However, the main subject is that through the first-person narrator, one gets a feeling for what happens in an affected brain, how it switches involuntarily between past and present and how that makes it impossible for somebody who is suffering fro...more
"Elizabeth is missing". Maud has not been able to contact her friend Elizabeth for some time, at least not that she can recall. She expresses her concerns to her daughter, to Elizabeth's son, even to the local police, but no one takes her concerns seriously. Elizabeth is missing, so why won't anyone look for her? Maud knows that she is getting older and is beginning to forget things, but she is sure that she would remember seeing Elizabeth. She has notes all around to remind her of the things th...more
Not a bad story but I thought there wasn't enough plot development. Essentially the situation which is presented at the beginning of the book remains unchanged with hardly any effort to solve it until the very end.

A woman afflicted with dementia keeps insisting that a friend of hers is missing, despite everyone else telling her she isn't. Despite the blurb on the cover, the story isn't about how she solves the crime. About half the book is a flashback to when the sister of the protagonist disapp...more
This is the most creative mystery I think I've ever read, told in the voice of an elderly woman, Maud, who suffers from advancing dementia. Maud's close friend Elizabeth has disappeared, and in her search for her she is reminded of the disappearance of her own sister when Maud was an adolescent. Healey skillfully conveys the thought processes of a person with dementia, yet she crafts a mystery that Maud more or less "solves" herself. The story is so well designed that I dare not say any more abo...more
I am always on the look out for interesting new authors and quirky crime reads. This is one that was highly recommended by a few people on twitter.

It is the story of a woman in her eighties, Maud, Maud lives independently with the help of her daughter, Helen and her carer. Maud uses memory aids to help her keep a track of things. She writes down on pieces of paper important things. She notices her friend, Elizabeth is no longer around. Maud starts investigating, which is not easy when your sens...more
So, I've finally read it, and can confirm, it is worth all the fuss. I can hardly believe this is a debut! It is written with such confidence and eloquence, but then Healey did study creative writing.
The story centers around Maud, an 81 year-old woman descending ever deeper into dementia. The book is told both from Maud's present and her past, and as the story moves along, the line between these times becomes ever more blurry, disintegrating slowly as Maud grows more confused. While Maud is the...more
Wow, this novel is great, a stunning first novel, and reading all the media releases in the UK on this book, the young author is a wonderful new talent. How can someone so young - the author is only 28 - write so eloquently and masterfully, but above all with such compassion about the issues of dementia in elderly people. Are there even many 28 year olds out there with more than a passing interest in elderly people? That is the first surprising thing about this book. The second is her ability to...more
I bought this at the Hay Festival before hearing Emma Healey talk about her debut novel.

Maud is very forgetful and keeps buying tins of peach slices even though she has loads in her cupboard. She also forgets that she has already eaten or what she is saying halfway through a sentence. Although she forgets things day to day she remembers her past vividly and she knows that her friend Elizabeth is missing.

I found this book fascinating and strangely compelling. Maud has alzheimers and as a result...more
I was lucky enough to be able to read an advanced copy of this book and absolutely loved it. The writing is beautiful and the crime style story with the added layer of complexity (Maud's Alzheimer's) is so clever. The most interesting part for me was the relationship between Maud and her daughter Helen and how it was described from Maud's perspective - very thought-provoking if you have ever had contact with someone suffering from Alzheimer's. A great novel from a very talented debut author.
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Emma Healey grew up in London where she completed her first degree in bookbinding and was the third generation of women in her family to go to art college. She then worked for two libraries, two bookshops, two art galleries and two universities, and was busily pursuing a career in the art world before writing overtook everything. In 2008, after the death of one grandmother and the decline of the o...more
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“An ancient noise, like a fox bark, makes an attempt at the edges of my brain.” 0 likes
“The sun’s in my eyes and it’s difficult to see. The shape of her is distorted by the light, circles of her silhouette removed as if by a pastry cutter.” 0 likes
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