Maude lives alone. Her carers come by and tell her not to buy anymore food, because she has too many tins of peaches already. She goes to the shops and forgets why she is there and then she buys tinned peaches. She has a daughter and her daughter sighs at her a lot and tells her not to eat so much toast.
But Maude knows that Elizabeth is missing, because she has notes all over that tell her so. She writes the notes to remember and what she remembers is that Elizabeth is missing.
At the same time there is another mystery, something that took place more than seventy years ago that no one has been able to solve yet. Elizabeth is missing weaves between those two mysteries of missing people as Maude struggles to solve them without being able to remember.
The book is well-crafted, the voice is interesting and the portrayals of age and dementia are very well done. At times it runs a bit long and while there is some tension, it’s hard to feel it urgently as we as readers have a different sense of the world. While Maude may be scared and unable to remember bits and pieces, we know everything she’s seen – even if she later forgets it again.
The most interesting parts are the everyday life things that she struggles with, like suddenly forgetting how to set a table
“I don’t look up. It’s such a little thing—knowing where to put cutlery—but I feel like I’ve failed an important test. A little piece of me is gone.”
It is an interesting, well-told little book, that could have been littler 🙂