Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Emma Healey's Elizabeth Is Missing.
Maud is having trouble remembering things, but she knows something isn't right with her friend Elizabeth. She's convinced Elizabeth has gone missing. She's tried to tell her daughter, her carers, even the police but no one believes her. She's gone to Elizabeth's house and looked for clues herself but every time she gets started she loses the fragile thread of thoughts that's brought her there. As more time goes by and Maud has no more answers than she began with, she is increasingly reminded of her sister's unsolved disappearance seven decades ago.
Elizabeth Is Missing is quite brilliantly constructed. On the one hand it is a very sad story about aging, Maud's grasp on reality continues to become worse and worse until she can no longer remember her daughter or her granddaughter, while the memories of her sister seem to become more vivid. She also begins to confuse elements of her sister's case and Elizabeth's.
And of course, on the other hand, this is a mystery - Maud holds the necessary pieces to solve both Elizabeth's case and Sukey's, but her tenuous grasp on reality and her memories complicates things. The combination reminded me in a way of S. J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep, where yet another narrator's unreliable memory affects the way the story unfolds.
I loved Maud. She's feisty and ready to take on the world, even in spite of her odds in doing so. The few times she's faced with her own aging her reaction feels genuine and real (who really ever thinks of themselves as being OLD?). Her stubbornness in accepting that Elizabeth is fine and her frustration in her investigation makes the reader root for her even more as the story continues.
It is hard to believe that this is Healey's first novel. In all honesty the story is to my mind quite flawless and wonderful.
To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.
For more on Emma Healey you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.