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

Disturbing

As a woman rapidly approaching 70, I did find this novel compelling and also disturbing as a very accurate look into the decline of an elderly person's ability to even control his own thought processes. The "mystery" is the least important part of this story. The story of the gradual breakdown in the character's personality is far more interesting. Having been responsible for the care of my childless aunt who was stricken with Altzheimer's, I can now better appreciate why she acted the way she did and why nothing I did made any difference at all.
Highly recommended.
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- P. Minor

Can't wait to see what she does next!

What a debut! And though this book is very well-written and beautifully narrated, I did not find it an easy listen. The author goes out on a limb in order to put us inside the mind of an elderly woman with serious dementia, most likely Alzheimer's. And the limb bears the weight of this construct. It's very well done, to the extent of being genuinely frightening, along the lines of "that poor woman" and "please don't let this happen to me." The book unravels two mysteries: that of the title, and a much, much older one from the narrator's past. It's gripping and absorbing, and at times so intense that I had to take a break.

Not the least of the author's accomplishments is to increase our understanding of what it might be like inside the mind of those with dementia.

Highly recommended.
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- Bonny

Book Details

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