Monday, January 19, 2015
Book Review : Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey
The story centers around Maud, an old lady who suffers from dementia. She can't remember what day is it, how old she is, she often mistakes her granddaughter with her daughter. She is confused most of the time, but in those moments when her mind is clear, she knows one thing: her friend Elizabeth is missing! Elizabeth is not at home, she rarely leaves her house because of her poor sight, her son is not very kind and takes things out of the house. Unfortunately for Maud, no one believes her. Who would believe an old senile lady? What happened to Elizabeth?
In the very same time, the story goes back in time during the WWII when Maud was a young girl. She had a older sister, Sukey, who disappeared soon after she was married. In the time of smuggling and couponing, Sukey and her husband suddenly disappeared. Her husband Frank, showed up couple of weeks later, but not her. No phone call, no letter, no nothing. Maud's parents were devastated, they never stopped searching. Maud never stopped searching.
You might ask how these two stories are connected? Oh, trust me, they are. As the story goes, the ending left me literally with my mouth open. I would never ever think that this is a debut novel. The author has a lot of courage to take a character like Maud and create a web of events that is so confusing but also, so in order in the same time.
Maud is so unique character. She is confused most of the time, but every little memory of hers, every little sparkle in her brain means something. She might look like she doesn't remember anything, but when she does, everything makes sense. She is good people's reader, she can recognize the good and the bad behind the face. For ordinary people, she is just an old senile lady, but behind that old wrinkled skin there is a true warrior who never gives up and nothing can stop her from achieving her goals, because her friend Elizabeth is missing!
No wonder that this is one of top ten crime books of 2014. This brave author is an amazing storyteller that brings the image of the past and incorporates it in the presence. She shows the life of the people suffering from dementia, and shows everyday problems that these people and their families have to cope with. But most of it, she writes one of the best crime stories I've ever read without spilling one single drop of blood.
My opinion: 5 / 5.