ELLE Book Club Pick: Elizabeth is Missing

ELLE's book of the month

The ELLE Book Club in Association with the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction: July #ELLEBookClub pick

ELLE's Phebe Hunnicutt reviews Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (Viking)

What would you do if you couldn’t trust your own memory? Maud writes notes. Notes fill her pockets, spill out of her old handbags and adorn her kitchen walls, but their meanings are getting harder to decipher. When we meet Maud she doesn’t know why so many of these messages refer to canned peaches, but she’s sure her most important note is the one reminding her that her friend Elizabeth is missing.

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?In Emma Healey’s debut novel two missing person cases, one new and one seventy years old, unravel along with the memory of the narrator. Healey centres the novel on a classic ‘who done it?’, but the truly terrifying tale is that of one woman’s slow slide into dementia. As Maud hunts for the truth about her friend Elizabeth and her long lost sister Sukey, her narration becomes less reliable by the page. It’s hard to know what is a valuable clue and what is a scrap of information as irrelevant as a scribbled reminder about peaches.

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?Like any good mystery, Elizabeth is Missing will leave you feeling slightly haunted, but the sense that, in the end, everything is clear for everyone but the detective is unique.

Download this month's ELLE Book Club pack, including guidance on how to start your own book club, a Q&A with author Emma Jane Unsworth, and discussion points

Book tickets to the ELLE Book Club Live event with Emma Healey here

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