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Elizabeth Is Missing    by Emma Healey order for
Elizabeth Is Missing
by Emma Healey
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Emma Healey's debut is a compelling and unusual suspense story which centers on a woman who is slipping into dementia. Maud Horsham knows her memory is going but, in the moments when she is fully lucid, she also knows that something has happened to her best friend. Elizabeth hasn't been at home when Maud calls and the woman's son claims the elderly woman is fine and tells Maud not to worry. But she does.

With the police and her daughter convinced Maud is a victim of her disintegrating mental state, the poor woman resorts to leaving notes for herself to remind her what she has discovered, what she needs to know, and what must be done to find Elizabeth.

Complicating what is already a difficult situation is the fact that Maud's sister went missing years ago too and was never found. Are these two disappearances connected and, if so, how? Obviously it would take a woman with all her wits about her to figure out what's really happening here so Maud is at an extreme disadvantage. But somehow this gutsy English woman, against all odds, will begin to recall snippets of the past and, thanks to her enhanced recall, the truth will slowly surface.

What makes this poignant novel so captivating is that this depiction of aging and identity is told from the central character's point of view. This octogenarian narrates her own story, which makes Elizabeth Is Missing all the more interesting.

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