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Elizabeth Is Missing

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3.7  ·  Rating details ·  43,301 Ratings  ·  5,650 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
Paperback, Waterstones Book Club Edition, 275 pages
Published January 1st 2015 by Penguin (first published March 13th 2014)
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Emily Houlis
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Andrea I've just finished it and found it excellent, a refreshing point of view from a deeply unreliable narrator and a double-layered crime plot. Well…moreI've just finished it and found it excellent, a refreshing point of view from a deeply unreliable narrator and a double-layered crime plot. Well executed, makes you laugh and cry. I can only recommend it. (less)

Community Reviews

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Alejandro
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

WARNING: I’M GOING TO SPOIL SOME OF THIS ONE, SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

I finished Elizabeth Is Missing all the way back in September, but never wrote a review. Those of you who know me are already aware that I’m always behind when it comes to posting reviews, but this one fell off the radar for a different reason . . . A reason I like to call the “meh factor.”

Commercial Photography
^^^^selfie of my reaction upon finishing this book^^^^

However, after having
...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
F
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, uk
I loved this!
Funny and sad.
So different from that sort of perspective.
Really well done. Loved Maud.
I knew there would be a connection between the 2 time line stories and I really liked the ending.
Mandy
May 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What in the hell did I just read? I feel lost, much like Maud did in this book.

There's two stories going on here... Maud an 82 year old woman who has dementia and then young Maud, who is desperately searching for her sister who has just vanished.

I will say the author was spot on with dementia. I worked with my grandmother for a full year before she passed this January and she acted a lot like Maud. That's all I can say because it is still a touchy subject for me and the wound from grandma passi
...more
Maureen
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
A 70 year old unsolved mystery lies at the heart of 'Elizabeth Is Missing'. It's not your conventional crime novel, but it certainly is compelling. The main protagonist is an 82 year old lady suffering from dementia. The way the author has dealt with the subject of dementia is quite remarkable. She's captured brilliantly the anxiety, the confusion, and the fear associated with it, so much so, that it's hard to believe she's not yet thirty herself! It's beautifully written, hilarious at times, he ...more
Ivonne Rovira
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dem
Jan 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth is missing was an emotional story about an elderly lady who is living with dementia.

I liked the story as I found it extremely effective at highlighting how difficult the illness is on family members; I found the character of Helen so real in this story and I am sure there are daughters and sisters and family out there reading this book and can identity with the character of Helen as she tries to look after and understand the world in which her mother finds herself struck in. Interesti
...more
Jessi
May 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did I read the same book as other reviewers?!?!?! This book was horrible, annoying, repetitive and wayyyyyy too drawn out. I love a good mystery and found myself not even caring what happens to Elizabeth, or Sukey, or ANY character in this book, because this book was just boring. I read the whole thing waiting for the aha-moment that just never came. Thought this book told from the view point of an elderly women with dementia would be unique, but I just found it frustrating.
Aditi
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Linda
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emma Healey did an extraordinary job of putting me into the mind of 82-year old Maud who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. From paragraph to paragraph, you never knew if you would be in Maud's past where her older sister, Sukey, disappeared or in her present trying to find her close friend, Elizabeth, who she believes to be missing. Yes, I wanted to know what happened to Elizabeth and Sukey, but I got so involved in Maud's thinking process that I felt like I was reading three novels at onc ...more
Blair
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
Frona
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the story is told through the lenses of a certain mental condition that only few have access to. In this case, it is Alzheimer’s that disables the protagonist from reaching what her mind has set before her: solving a disappearance of a beloved one. But whilst providing an old lady with countless obstacles, the disease does more; through forceful emergence of what was trying to be forgotten, it opens the sheer possibility of the task. The p ...more
Malia
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: empathetic people
Recommended to Evelina | AvalinahsBooks by: book's marketing for reviews
When I got this book from NetGalley back in 2014, I put it away for a long time because I didn't even know what NetGalley was all about back then. But now I know I should have read it much sooner. It is a great book. It has really been an emotional experience to read it.

The book tells a story of an old woman, slowly sinking into senility (perhaps Alzheimer's? It's never pointed out). She seems to be stuck on the fact of her friend Elizabeth being missing, and although she's heard the answer befo
...more
Julian Lees
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Unsettling, moving, and tender....I couldn't put it down.
Carol
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debut
"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
Connie
A bit let down, review to come.

I finished this over a week ago and still am a bit ambivalent about it. Something for me, besides Elizabeth, was missing. I loved the concept of this story. Maude is creeping into the world of the unknown. She is kept adrift with sticky notes and routines. That in itself is terrifying, (as I look at all the reminders to myself tacked to the desk on a sticky note!) The author did a wonderful job of conveying that teetering on the edge feeling that so many elderly m
...more
Mario
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, own-read
But it’s not true. I forget things—I know that—but I’m not mad. Not yet. And I’m sick of being treated as if I am. I’m tired of the sympathetic smiles and the little pats people give you when you get things confused, and I’m bloody fed up with everyone deferring to Helen rather than listening to what I have to say.


Elizabeth Is Missing is one of the weirdest books I've ever read. It is also one of the most unique ones. The story of this novel is quite simple: we follow our main character Maud, wh
...more
Cheryl
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Julie
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy is a 2014 Harper Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

For me this was a stunning novel, not only as a mystery but one that gives an unique insight into the mind of someone dealing with dementia and the effects it has on them and their family.

When Maud who is 82 years old, realizes her friend Elizabeth is gone, she desperately tries to convey this to her daughter, Helen, who is her sol
...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
Maud has one of the most poignant, memorable and distinctive voices I've ever read. She's eighty-two years old and suffers from Alzheimer's disease, meaning that everyday life is struggle for her, although she doesn't always realise it herself. Maud buys tins of peaches even though she has a cupboard full of them. She makes cups of tea and leaves them to go cold. She has to be told don't leave the house, don't cook, don't keep calling the neighbours.

One day, Maud finds a piece of paper in her po
...more
Annet
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely book! And of course.... sad.
somuchreading
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-now
Τούτο δω το βιβλίο έπεσε θύμα αυτού που θα αναφέρω από δω και στο εξής σαν Το Μεγάλο Reader's Block του 2016. Ναι, αυτό το βιβλίο μου πήρε κάτι μήνες να το ολοκληρώσω γιατί, εχμ, απλά σταμάτησα να διαβάζω, αλλά κοιτάξτε: Ήταν καλό.

Η Χάρτινη Μνήμη είναι ουσιαστικά ένα αστυνομικό μυθιστόρημα. Υπάρχει το μυστήριο δυο εξαφανίσεων, σε αρκετή χρονική απόσταση του ενός με του άλλου, υπάρχει ένας [αναξιόπιστος] αφηγητής, υπάρχει και η παράλληλη πορεία των 2 αφηγήσεων παρελθόντος και παρόντος.

Από κει και
...more
Britany
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, audiobook
Talk about an unreliable narrator...

When we first meet Maud- the older woman seems kind and a little scattered. She flashes back between the past- when her sister, Sukey went missing and present day. Her friend Elizabeth is missing and she can't quite figure out what to do. Everyone she tells struggles to believe her and usually by the time she gets someplace, she quickly forgets why she is there. Maud struggles with the onset of dementia. Watching her spiral into her own head was heartwrenching
...more
Laurel-Rain
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ellinor
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, ebooks
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
Carolyn
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aging, mystery, family
Eighty two year old Maud is slowly slipping into dementia. Her memory is failing and she can't always find the words she needs to tell people her inner thoughts and feelings. She is very concerned that her friend Elizabeth is missing. She's been to her house (several times) and she's not there, she told her daughter Helen (many times), she's phoned Elizabeth's son Peter (several times) and even been to the police (several times) but no one will listen. In her confusion her mind keeps harking bac ...more
Emma Sea
My grandmother moved in with me in 2000 and I cared for her while she developed vascular dementia, until in 2013 I had to find her a residential care facility that specialized in dementia patients. Because of this I found the book very emotionally challenging to read. It brought back all the guilt and self-doubt I have about not caring for my grandmother at home any more.

The book is gorgeously written, and brilliantly structured, but I found it just so heartbreaking and upsetting. I'm not sure I
...more
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars
Eighty two year old Maud is having problems with her memory. She may not remember what she did earlier in the day or even five minutes earlier, but there is one thing that keeps coming back to her repeatedly. Elizabeth is missing. At times Maud does not even remember her daughter Helen or her granddaughter Katy, but she remembers her sister Sukey who went missing years earlier and was never found. These memories surface and intertwine with her present and the idea that Eliz
...more
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768 followers
Emma Healey grew up in London where she studied for her first degree in bookbinding. She then worked for two libraries, two bookshops, two art galleries and two universities, before completing an MA in Creative Writing at the University East Anglia. Her first novel, Elizabeth is Missing, was published to critical acclaim in 2014, became a Sunday Times bestseller and won the Costa First Novel Award ...more
More about Emma Healey

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“I remember when the houses used to whiz by as I walked—nearly running—to and from home. Ma would ask me afterwards about what I’d seen, whether certain neighbours were out, what I thought about someone’s new garden wall. I’d never noticed; it had all gone past in a flash. Now I have plenty of time to look at everything, and no one to tell what I’ve seen.” 16 likes
“But it’s not true. I forget things—I know that—but I’m not mad. Not yet. And I’m sick of being treated as if I am. I’m tired of the sympathetic smiles and the little pats people give you when you get things confused, and I’m bloody fed up with everyone deferring to Helen rather than listening to what I have to say.” 16 likes
More quotes…