BN.com Gift Guide

Elizabeth Is Missing

( 13 )

Overview

In this darkly riveting debut novel—a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also an heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging—an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.

Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$19.29
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$25.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (23) from $8.00   
  • New (11) from $13.00   
  • Used (12) from $8.00   
Elizabeth Is Missing

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$1.99
BN.com price

Overview

In this darkly riveting debut novel—a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also an heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging—an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.

Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, whom she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger.

But no one will listen to Maud—not her frustrated daughter, Helen, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth and save her beloved friend.

This singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present. But the clues she discovers seem only to lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II.

As vivid memories of a tragedy that occurred more fifty years ago come flooding back, Maud discovers new momentum in her search for her friend. Could the mystery of Sukey’s disappearance hold the key to finding Elizabeth?

Shortlisted for the 2014 Costa First Novel Award

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/10/2014
British author Healey draws on her own grandmothers’ experiences to create the distinctive narrator of her first novel. Maud Horsham can no longer function safely in the present, and one of the unanswered questions of this sad, unsettling psychological mystery is why Maud lives alone in the south of England, with only a little part-time help and daily visits from Helen, her grown daughter. When Maud becomes obsessed with the apparent disappearance of Elizabeth, “the only friend I have left,” her already erratic life becomes chaotic. All of her attempts to find Elizabeth, including visits to the police, are unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Maud’s search for Elizabeth elicits memories of another disappearance—that of her sister, Sukey, back in 1948. Few readers may want to journey through the mind of a person with dementia, but Healey demonstrates that an absorbing tale can indeed be written from such a perspective. Agent: Karolina Sutton, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (June)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-10
Maud's memory is failing, slipping further away each day. So how can she convince anyone that her best friend is truly missing?In her debut novel, Healey deftly evokes the frustrations of Maud and her daughter, both annoyed by Maud's inability to remember that she bought peach slices yesterday (not to mention the day before), or her own address or the fact that she's already alerted the police to Elizabeth's absence four times. Large and small notes blanket the house and fill Maud's purse with reminders (no more peaches; Elizabeth's son says she's OK), but Maud disregards or mistrusts them, questioning her daughter's authority and Elizabeth's son's truthfulness. Healey also compassionately draws the landscape of Maud's mind, layering the past over the present, blurring the lines between reality and memory. Just as she's worried about Elizabeth in the present, she's troubled by events from her childhood in post-World War II London. Then, she and her parents had a lodger, Douglas. Her sister, Sukey, lived with her husband, Frank, in a big house crammed with odds and ends collected through his furniture-moving business. But Sukey disappeared, too. Both Douglas and Frank were briefly considered suspects. Certainly, Douglas' close friendship with Sukey and Frank's mysterious business dealings raised some hackles. But a lack of evidence prompted officials to determine that Sukey likely just ran away. But Maud never believed that her beloved sister would have left of her own accord without saying goodbye. Could the two mysteries be connected? With little to no assistance from the police, then or now, the family must band together to discover the truth. At first, Maud's disintegrating memory stymies her progress, but soon enough, the elision of boundaries becomes an asset.A poignant novel of loss.
Emma Donoghue
Elizabeth is Missing will stir and shake you: an investigation into a seventy-year-old crime, through the eyes of the most likeably unreliable of narrators. But the real mystery at its compassionate core is the fragmentation of the human mind.”
Sunday Times (London)
“This is no conventional crime novel but a compelling work that crosses literary genres.… The result is bold, touching and hugely memorable.”
Wall Street Journal
“[A] knockout debut…. Ms. Healey’s audacious conception and formidable talent combine in a bravura performance that sustains its momentum and pathos to the last.”
The Independent
“It is a gripping thriller, but it’s also about life and love: the love of an exasperated daughter for her mother; the love of sisters and of friends and the love I felt for Maud.”
BookPage
“Healey is able to imagine and empathize on such a level because she’s simply a brilliant writer. Let’s hope we hear much more from her over the years.”
New York Journal of Books
“A compelling read, Elizabeth is Missing offers added depth of mystery and suspense along with aptly portraying a family trying to cope with illness.”
New York Times Book Review
“Maud Horsham, the narrator of Emma Healey’s spellbinding first novel…is aware that she’s slipping into dementia…. It’s a sad and lonely business watching your identity slowly slip away. But even at the end, Maud insists on making herself heard and understood.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Part mystery, part meditation on memory, part Dickensian revelation of how apparent charity may hurt its recipients, this is altogether brilliant.”
The Bookseller
“A gripping mystery…this bears comparison to A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and S. J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep.
Kimberly McCreight
“Ingeniously structured and remarkably poignant…. A riveting story of friendship and loss that will have you compulsively puzzling fact from fiction as you race to the last page.”
Jonathan Coe
“This novel genuinely is one of those semi-mythical beasts, the book you cannot put down.”
Deborah Moggach
“A thrillingly assured, haunting and unsettling novel, I read it at a gulp.”
The Observer
Elizabeth Is Missing is every bit as compelling as the...hype suggests.... 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.”
Library Journal
★ 04/15/2014
Maud's memory is going quickly. She doesn't always know who her daughter is and ends up buying cans of peaches at the store every time she shops because she can't figure out how to find the items on her list. One thing Maud is sure of though, her friend Elizabeth is missing. But she can't convince anyone else. So Maud leaves herself notes and attempts to visit Elizabeth, only to be turned away by her angry son, Peter. Maud's investigative attempts also awaken memories of an earlier disappearance, that of her sister Sukey many years ago. Where Maud has difficulty keeping track of her current life from moment to moment, the past becomes clearer and forms a disturbing picture—one that may connect to the missing Elizabeth. VERDICT Delving into the mind of a woman suffering from dementia, Healey uses her unreliable narrator to create realistic tension. Suspenseful and emotional in equal parts, the author's debut hits all the right notes. Fans of other books with questionable narrators like Alice LaPlante's Turn of Mind and S.J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep will find much to love here. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/14.]—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062309662
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/10/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 40,006
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Emma Healey holds a degree in bookbinding and an MA in creative writing. Elizabeth Is Missing is her first novel. She lives in the UK.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    One of the best things about my job is being asked "What ha

    One of the best things about my job is being asked "What have you read that's really good lately?" Well, Emma Healey's debut novel, Elizabeth is Missing, is one title I'll be recommending over and over again this summer. I really, really loved this book. Okay, you loved it Luanne, now what's it about?

    Maud is in her eighties and is slowly but surely losing her memory, her ability to live alone and to take care of herself. But the one thing she cannot forget is her friend Elizabeth. Maud is convinced she is missing, no matter what her daughter Helen, her carers and Elizabeth's son Peter says. She need to find her - Elizabeth is missing. Maud writes many notes to remind herself to continue to look for Elizabeth. And she does, putting herself in harm's way and her daughter at her wit's end.

    But there is a second narrative as well, from Maud's past as a young girl in Britain, shortly after World II has ended. Maud is an unreliable narrator. As the past and the present become tangled in Maud's memory, the reader is not quite sure of what is truth, what is memory and what is what might have been. But as I read, I had suspicions creeping in......

    It is difficult to watch Maud struggle with knowing she is losing her memory. She is determined to hand on to her pride, her dignity and independence. And desperate to know what has happened to Elizabeth. Healey's writing captures Maud's frustration, the lost time and the fear so well. But Healey does inject humour into Maud's life as well. She is a feisty soul. Her daughter Helen is just as well drawn and provides a real and touching look at the difficult, often painful role of being a child and/or a carer of someone with dementia or Alzheimer's. I thought Helen's granddaughter Katy was very well written as well. She jokes and laughs with her grandmother and loves her very much. I wonder if there's a bit of Healey written into Katy.

    Elizabeth is missing is both a mystery and a story of lives, heartbreaking, yet life affirming. Above all, it is a brilliant read, guaranteed to grab you and not let you go, even after the last page is turned. (have a tissue handy) Part of what made this book so poignant was Healey adding in part of her life and memories, with a nod to her grandmothers, Nancy and Vera.

    "It was a few months after she (Nancy) died, that I began to write Elizabeth is Missing in earnest, combining the exploration of dementia prompted by Nancy with some of the stories I'd collected from Vera."

    As I read, I too thought often of my own grandmothers, now both passed away. And it made me love the book even more.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A Compelling and Riveting Debut Novel!

    Emma Healey’s ELIZABETH IS MISSING, a riveting debut novel, offering readers firsthand insight into the intense thoughts and confusion, of an elderly woman with dementia, and her gradual loss of memory.

    The author is quite clever in her writing, connecting the two story lines seamlessly; while being realistic, and sensitive of her main character—for a compelling read.

    Maud, age 82 is at the beginning stages of dementia. She still lives at home with caretakers, coming in each day to help her with the single things; which become complicated as she begins to lose more of her memory.

    She begins to think her best friend,Elizabeth is missing, and she is convinced she is in terrible danger. No one listens to her. Her daughter Helen, nor her caretakers, and definitely not the police or Elizabeth’s son, Peter. She is relentless and obsessed. She is heartbreaking; however, at times she can be humorous with her thoughts of others.

    Two different sections, the first one, which I enjoyed the most—focus of Maude, the emotion, her raw thoughts and feelings, as she is acknowledging the fear of losing her memory, her age, the desperation that none of this can be happening, grasping for time to write things down while she can still remember.

    Maud’s frustration is so intriguing yet realistic—as her mind jumps from one thing to another, as she pulls in the reader on an emotional level. She recalls things in her past, and as she is writing things down, she desperately does not want to forget—then she forgets the original meaning of the note, or what she is doing at any given time.

    The second part—while looking for her friend, she thinks is missing; she recalls a situation with her own sister, Sukey, who disappeared after the end of the war in London. Though emotion, pain, and confusion---she manages to unravel a mystery surrounding her best friend and her sister. A number of dementia patients, cannot recall what they are doing at the moment; however, may recollect things from years past.

    ELIZABETH IS MISSING tackles Maud's confusion— flawlessly. Maud is speaking in the first person and listened to the audiobook-- Davina Porter, performer—is ideal, with her elegant accent, she highlights every detail, word, phrase and captures the emotion in Maude’s voice, coming alive with her narrative style. This dynamic duo brings Maude to life in true form.

    Healey grabs you from the first page to the last, as you feel as though you are listening to a story told by your grandmother sitting in front of you.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2014

    New York Guy...WOW!

    Unbelievably well done, especially considering that this is the author's first book. The description of Maud's descent into dementia was incredibly realistic. All the characters were fully fleshed out and the London setting was very believable and added immensely to the overall story. Would not hesitate to buy the author's next book or to recommend this book to others. Great! WOW!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2014

    Alzheimers brilliance

    As a physician, I have cared for hundreds of Alzheimers patients from the time they were whole to the end of there disease. This book does not explain the disease, instead you live the illness with the protagonist as she slowly loses chunks of herself while finding chunks of a loss. It is mesmerizing to read as someone so smoothly morphs from today to 70 years ago. You care deeply about this woman and you feel her sorrow and confusion. The tender care of her daughter and the angst she must feel is skillfully expressed through the mother. At heart is a mystery, a whodunit but the most interesting take on that genre I have ever read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 26, 2014

    Excellent Read!!

    This is the first book that I have read by this author, and it proved to be a good choice. Topic is very interesting and one that most of us will face. I would highly recommend this book!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    Disturbing, but insightful

    Healy nailed the voice of an Alzheimer's sufferer, but in doing so, the narrative was a bit hard to follow. For those of us who have watched our parents live through the confusing and frustrating maze of thinking and living with the disease, it brought both frightening anticipation of what we might experience in the future and pain of what we have witnessed in the day to day lives of our parents. The dual mysteries also made it more difficult to follow, as the character jumps back and forth from the two time periods in her life when the disappearances took place. This is one that you would profit from reading straight through with few breaks so the plot is fresh on your mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2014

    All the baby boomers should read this book!

    A mystery that gives you an insight into an aging mind. It is both funny and sad. A very good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014

    Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy Published June 10th 2014 b



    Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy
    Published June 10th 2014 by Harper
    4 star review


    Emma Healey tells the poignant story of a woman in her 80's struggling with dementia and being unable to care for herself any longer. Healey uses the first person narrative of the main character, Maude, as she struggles with her reality and how to communicate with her family. The story alternates between Maude's life now as she is thinking her best friend is missing and Maude's life in 1946 when her sister actually went missing. Unable to differentiate between what is currently happening and what are her memories, Maude has difficulty communicating with her family in what she ultimately knows and what she doesn't understand.

    Most writers take on Alzheimer's and dementia from the caretaker's perspective. Miss Healey skillfully shows the devastating and heart-rendering effects of dealing with dementia from the first person perspective. This novel, at points, were difficult to read, because the main character and her struggle is written well. Miss Healey is able to show Maude deftly in both incoherent moments as well as in very lucid moments, showing her personality and her true reactions when people do not take her seriously or mock. Secondary characters were also smartly written, which helps keep the story moving and believable.

    Definitely a book worth reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 13, 2014

    Great Read !

    loved this book, if you know anyone suffering from Dementia this is a must read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2014

    Really hits home

    This hits home both my parents had this

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 30, 2014

    I thought it was compelling that Emma Healey narrated as the voi

    I thought it was compelling that Emma Healey narrated as the voice of Maud as it so clearly defined for us the nature of dementia. I thought this story was lovely and touching. I was very impressed and would read another book by this author. Well done.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    Really good

    Well written but at times a little tedious. I liked Maud and get how our society spurns the aging.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)