Bury Libraries is proud to support our carers by providing the opportunity to come and meet like-minded people who all enjoy reading, as well as sharing their book-related discoveries and opinions. This relaxed readers group meets once a month to discuss our group read – and to swap recommendations for other books we’ve enjoyed since our last meeting.
This month the group discussed “Elizabeth is Missing” by Emma Healey
Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Back home she finds the place horribly unrecognisable – just like she sometimes thinks her daughter Helen is a total stranger.
But there’s one think Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about is, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.
Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about. Everyone, except Maud…
We found this a really moving, sad story and felt lots of sympathy not only for Maud, but for her heroic daughter Helen and her amazingly tolerant granddaughter. The story jumps backwards and forwards in time as Maud’s thoughts take her back to just after the war, as she tries to solve not only the mystery of where Elizabeth is, but an upsetting puzzle which has been bothering her since she was fifteen years old. It’s so cleverly written that you are completely immersed in the never-ending confusion and questions circling in Maud’s head; one member said that the writing was so involving that it made them feel as confused as Maud was each time they read it. Nothing is ever certain in Maud’s world – people she doesn’t recognise laugh at her and behave in confusingly familiar ways, and she can’t even be certain that she will remember that she was thirsty enough to make a cup of tea for long enough to remember to drink it. Very well written and a frightening window into what it’s like living with dementia.
This month we are reading “The Mermaid and the Drunks” by Ben Richards, which we will be discussing on Wednesday 5th July at 10.30am. We normally meet at the Bury Carers Centre on Silver Street, but in July we are meeting at Tina’s Tea Room in Bury Art Gallery. It’s fully accessible, with a lift available.
If you’d like any more information about joining the Bury Carers Readers Group, please contact the centre on 0161 763 4867.
Reader Development Team