Five words from the blurb: forgetful, mystery, friend, missing, note
Elizabeth is Missing is an amusing, but poignant story about Maud, a woman suffering from dementia. The book alternates between Maud’s current life, where she is preoccupied with the whereabouts of her friend Elizabeth; and a second strand which shows what it was like for her growing up shortly after WWII – a period of time in which she is devastated by the disappearance of her sister.
The book gives a frighteningly realistic insight into the mind of a dementia sufferer, but somehow manages to avoid all sentimentality and insult. Some of the stories made me cry with laughter and I recognised many of the situations from interactions with my own grandparents.
I loved the first half of this book, but unfortunately the sad, repetitive nature of her actions, although completely realistic, began to wear a bit thin and I found myself losing interest. I think the book would have benefited from being slightly shorter.
The dual detective elements of the story were quite clever and I loved the ending, but there was something about it that didn’t quite work. I think it might be the fact that I didn’t connect with Maud’s younger self and so didn’t care whether or not there was a resolution to her story.
Despite the minor problems I really enjoyed reading this book and I will be recommending it to a wide range of people. I hope it makes readers more tolerant of those with memory problems and I expect to see it on a few prize lists later in the year.