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Elizabeth is Missing Paperback – 1 Jan 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 3,362 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Jan. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241968186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241968185
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,362 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

The novel is both a gripping detective yarn and a haunting depiction of mental illness, but also more poignant and blackly comic than you might expect from that description... perhaps Healey's greatest achievement is the flawless voice she creates for Maud. (The Observer)

A compelling mystery that capture the experience of Maud, a highly memorable elderly woman losing her memory (Sunday Express)

Riveting psychological thriller (Stylist's Best Books of 2014)

A thrillingly assured, haunting and unsettling novel, I read it at a gulp (Deborah Moggach)

From the Inside Flap

Meet Maud.

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 unrecognizable - or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger.

But there's 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.

Everyone, except Maud . . .

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I’m not completely sure how I feel about Elizabeth Is Missing. I was wavering between giving it a three or star but went with four stars in the end because it made me cry a little. This book isn’t what I was expecting and I didn’t like some of it. One issue I had is the way the book handles dementia. Maud’s dementia is quite far advanced. I felt she was at the stage when she couldn’t be left on her own. She was wandering out of the house and could easily have come to harm because she was so confused. I felt her family were neglectful of her at first. I thought Maud, however, was a great character, very realistic of someone with dementia. My gran, who’s been dead for sixteen years, had dementia. She came to live with my family when neighbours told my mum she was wandering the streets in her night-dress, looking for her dog that had died ten years before. Maud reminds me a lot of her. She’s a well written character. I found the narrative confusing at times. I didn’t mind that it moved back and forth in time. I like this structure in novels. It just wasn’t always clear what time we were in. I suppose this helped to convey Maud’s confusion but it could have been handed a bit better. The title is a misnomer – Elizabeth is not missing, it’s just Maud’s memories of her are missing and confused in her head with her sister’s disappearance thirty years before. I felt a little bit cheated. Never mind, Elizabeth Is Missing does involve a mystery, just now what I was expecting. There is a lot of misdirection, caused by Maud’s memory and I suppose it’s good the author went in an unexpected direction. I ended up really liking Elizabeth Is Missing and would recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a surprising novel and different to what you expect once you begin the novel. A unique novel and a worthy read.
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This book didn't sound as promising as it turned out to be. An older woman (Maud) with Alzheimers thinks her friend (Elizabeth) has gone missing. This settles into a constant anxiety about where she is, but also reawakens a similar anxiety she had as a young girl when her sister went missing. The book then alternates between an internal narrative about Elizabeth and a historical telling of the events surrounding the sister. I loved the authors treatment of the functioning devices used by Maud and the insights it gives us, the readers, as to why she thinks or does certain things. I loved it when she'd come out with a word or a phrase that is actually connected with her internal monologue and nothing to do with the current conversation. The story about the sister is interesting, and the story of the life of Maud is funny, sad, clever and inventive. I would recommend it to anyone.
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Never mind Elizabeth being missing, I think I must have missed something with this book!! I am a little bit perplexed as to how it has received so many 5 star reviews. I agree that the author handled the Alzheimer's aspect of the novel brilliantly and I absolutely felt the frustrations of the lead character Maud and her daughter Helen trying to cope with this insidious disease. However I felt that the whole "who done it" aspect of the book left lot to be desired. I didn't find any of the family characters in Mauds' past to be particularly likeable (including the frustratingly naïve Maude herself) and so I found it difficult to empathise with anyone and I really didn't care who did what by the end!
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This was a book club choice and I read it over a weekend. It was a very easy read but it was harrowing about the subject matter of dementia. As a health professional (public health nurse) I am dealing with patients with varying levels of dementia and Alzheimer's Disease, and this writer really got into the mind of what I imagine it must be like to have this affliction. I've just done a course on dementia and we were asked to imagine the distress of everything being unfamiliar and people being strangers who tell us they're our children. This was very well done and I loved the clarity of the past contrasted with the confusion of the present.
A nice twist of the plot at the end rounded it off nicely but there was a sense of no resolution as the events had taken place so long beforehand.
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I have enjoyed reading this book, I am part of reading club this was the book for May,
I work with people who have dementia, makes me think that some of the thing that are said do/ may have been significant to their lives. A very enjoyable book would recommend this book to anyone who knows someone with dementia.
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I gave four stars as all though well written and original it didn't ripen in the way I hoped it would. I wouldn't recommend it as a good read , too much of the same thing chapter after chapter. However, the characters were real, but sad little tale that left me feeling drab. Why did others feel they couldn't put it down,I wonder?
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loved this book. deals with the very sad subject of dementia with love and humour as well as having a side story regarding the past and the main character sisters disappearance. Would highly recommend
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