Elizabeth Is Missing: A Novel

By Emma Healey

In this darkly riveting debut novel—a refined mental secret that also is an heartbreakingly sincere meditation on reminiscence, id, and aging—an aged girl descending into dementia embarks on a determined quest to discover the easiest pal she believes has disappeared, and her look for the reality will return many years and feature shattering consequences.

Maud, an getting older grandmother, is slowly wasting her memory—and her grip on daily life. but she refuses to fail to remember her ally Elizabeth, whom she is confident is lacking and in poor danger.

But nobody will hearken to Maud—not her pissed off daughter, Helen, now not her caretakers, no longer the police, and particularly now not Elizabeth’s mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overpowering feeling that Elizabeth wishes her aid, Maud resolves to find the reality and shop her liked friend.

This singular obsession kinds a cornerstone of Maud’s quickly dissolving current. however the clues she discovers look merely to steer her deeper into her previous, to a different unsolved disappearance: her sister, Sukey, who vanished presently after global conflict II.

As shiny stories of a tragedy that happened extra fifty years in the past come flooding again, Maud discovers new momentum in her look for her good friend. might the secret of Sukey’s disappearance carry the most important to discovering Elizabeth?

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A rainy lump of tissues folds into itself at the desk. It appears like that modelling-clay stuff the youngsters used to play with. “I can’t pay money for Mum,” Katy says, protecting whatever to the part of her face. “She’s most likely at the cellphone to the police or anything. ” “What’s that you’ve bought opposed to your ear? A shell? who's it you’re hearing? ” I say. Douglas had a shell, I have in mind. I watched him detect it in Sukey’s case: he felt all over the edges and located it within the lining. after which he held it to his ear and her voice got here out and he or she instructed him how she’d met the fellow she was once going to marry. “Handy,” Katy says. “But this can be only a cellphone, I’m afraid. And in the intervening time I’m hearing a lady telling me the quantity i've got dialled is busy. by no means brain. We’ll move domestic in a minute. After we’ve inebriated our espresso. ” “Coffee is nice for the memory,” I say. She smiles and sits again. i feel of telling her that I’ve forgotten why we’re right here. yet she seems so satisfied, and I’m fearful approximately how she could react. She curves her arms around her cup and sips. Her nail varnish is chipped. The nails are very brief and that i ponder whether she bites them or if she’s simply damaged all of them. damaged them and left them in a field. each little nail in a separate little field. “Your coffee’s going cold,” Katy says. i've got curled my arms tightly into the palm of my arms, holding the nails, forcing them opposed to the outside. It’s an attempt to uncurl them, yet I hook one finger into the tiny deal with, which, because it seems, isn't a lot use. The cup is very large and heavy and that i spill an excessive amount of espresso at the glossy wood desk. “Whoa! ” Katy says, springing ahead to carry the cup regular. Helen might make an aggravated noise now, yet Katy laughs. “Bit too enormous to your arms, isn’t it? ” she says, and makes me think smooth instead of clumsy. “Let me get you anything. ” She pushes the lump of Play-Doh into the spill and is going off. Brown seeps into the white like a sugar dice hung on the outside of a cup of tea. Katy comes again with a tiny cup. “It’s for coffee, really,” she says. “But we will be able to simply decant a section at a time. ” She pours a few espresso into the little cup and palms it to me, grinning. I sip the nice and cozy liquid, feeling like an enormous in a fairy story. I can’t aid smiling at her. whilst I’ve complete my cup she refills it. I want i'll be mindful why we’re right here. “We’ll pass in a bit,” she says. “You’d higher visit the john, hadn’t you? ” i am getting as much as do as she says. the women’ door has a wood cut-out of a lady on it. inside of, there’s an outdated lady, hunched right into a cardigan. I step apart to allow her move, yet she steps apart, too. I step again; so does she. I stroll nearer. It’s me in a reflect. I positioned a hand as much as rub opposed to the glass the place my mouth is mirrored, leaving a mark which makes it glance as if I’m donning smudged lipstick. i am going sizzling on the sight, feeling embarrassed and uneasy, and that i scrub at my mouth with the again of my hand. It’s awkward getting the cubicle door closed: I appear to have too many layers on, an excessive amount of padding. as soon as I’m within, although, i've got the urge to stick.

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