Review: 'Elizabeth Is Missing' by Emma Healey
This first novel of professional book binder, Emma Healey , "Elizabeth Is Missing," reveals incredible insights into the minds and hearts of those in varying states of dementia and in those who care for and about them. It leaves me wondering what more might Ms. Healey have in that head of hers, most definitely the mind of a writer and compassionate human being.
"Elizabeth Is Missing" is a work of fiction, but anyone who has interacted with someone with memory deficits would tell you that this could well be a true story.
The story is told through the point of view of the main character, Maud, who finds that writing notes to herself helps to keep her somewhat on track in the present. Maud has concerns about her dear friend, Elizabeth, whom Maud has not seen in quite some time -- or has she, and simply forgotten?
The mystery of Elizabeth in the present becomes entangled with memories of a mystery in Maud's childhood, that of the disappearance of her older sister, Sukey. Maud is certain if she can hold onto her thoughts long enough to process the questions, she will find the answers she seeks.
Unfortunately for Maud, as is so often the case with memory impairments, her ability to hold onto thoughts in the present begins to erode over time, so much so that she is no longer safe to live in her own home.
It might seem that such a novel would be dreary, but this is not the case. Healey has found a way to tell Maud's story by interjecting subtle and appropriate humor. The reader, living through Maud's eyes, is treated to what it may be like in the thoughts of someone living through memory loss. It is a poignant story.
If you're up to the task of better understanding memory impairment, albeit fictionally, I wholeheartedly suggest reading "Elizabeth Is Missing."
Image Credit » Elizabeth Is Missing emmahealey.co.uk