Elizabeth Is Missing

  • by Emma Healey
  • Narrated by Davina Porter
  • 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this darkly riveting debut novel - a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also a 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 50 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?

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, June 2014 - Elizabeth Is Missing is a captivating and original debut novel from author Emma Healey. It’s told from the perspective of Maud, a lovable but forgetful 82-year-old woman whose grip on reality is slowly slipping away. She’s convinced herself that her friend Elizabeth has gone missing, and sets out on a scattered crusade to uncover the truth behind the disappearance. As Maud’s memory of the present fades, her past becomes more vivid and soon her efforts to find Elizabeth uncover clues to the mystery of her sister Sukey’s disappearance more than half a century earlier. The story comes together in the form of a methodically crafted jigsaw puzzle – sporadically transitioning from past to present and fully immersing the listener into the fragmented and terrifying experience of dementia. —Regina, Audible Editor

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Poignant mystery novel

Emma Healey has written a very unusual novel that is also a mystery story. Maud is an aging woman, whom we quickly realize is losing her memory (and to a slight degree, her identity). However, there are bits and pieces of memory that are intact--one being that she is seeking her friend Elizabeth. To attempt to keep herself focused, she writes endless notes, and when people (like her daughter) do notice she is not recalling things accurately, is quick to try to justify to herself, and cover up to others, for her lapses. As she is seeking Elizabeth, things begin to unroll in a unexpected way, and she starts to get in touch with memories of the disappearance of her sister Sukey, at the end of WWII.

This book is a clever way to have a protagonist who is solving mysteries--perhaps the most unique approach I've seen in a long while. But what is far more moving about the book is Healey's ability to convey the frightening and confusing experience of aging, lacking the ability to keep things in mind, desperate to get the attention of others who often don't believe her because of the confused way she presents her thoughts.

If you like mysteries, this is quite good. But if you are looking for a very compelling, emotionally gripping novel, this is excellent. Many people face a future like Maud's as part of aging, and boldly bringing this experience to the pages of this book was courageous, and evokes quite a sense of compassion for any of us who do or might someday struggle with these issues. Highly recommend.
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- Kathi "Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy."

A Captivating and Original Debut

Elizabeth Is Missing is a captivating and original debut novel from author Emma Healey. It’s told from the perspective of Maud, a lovable but forgetful 82-year-old woman whose grip on reality is slowly slipping away. She’s convinced herself that her friend Elizabeth has gone missing, and sets out on a scattered crusade to uncover the truth behind the disappearance. As Maud’s memory of the present fades, her past becomes more vivid and soon her efforts to find Elizabeth uncover clues to the mystery of her sister Sukey’s disappearance more than half a century earlier. The story comes together in the form of a methodically crafted jigsaw puzzle – sporadically transitioning from past to present and fully immersing the listener into the fragmented and terrifying experience of dementia.
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- Regina-Audible "Audible editor and listener. Lover of fiction, thrillers, celebrity memoirs, and quirky teen novels."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-10-2014
  • Publisher: HarperAudio