*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Elizabeth is Missing, I provide your book club with a brief summary, fun activity ideas, and more!
Has someone you loved battled dementia? If so, you are not alone.
Over 5 million Americans alone have Alzheimer’s. It’s a frightening disease. One many of us don’t like to think about.
And, if you’ve been a caregiver to someone with dementia, you know that the role of caregiver is extremely difficult and often frustrating.
Perhaps you read The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks and related to Noah and Allie’s later-in-life story, but have you read any other books where the characters deal with Alzheimer’s or dementia? Other popular dementia books include Still Alice and The Things We Keep. Both good choices, but let’s talk a little about the featured book, Elizabeth is Missing.
Elizabeth is Missing is a novel about a woman, Maud, who suffers from dementia and believes her best friend, Elizabeth, is missing. The novel is structured like a mystery/suspense and Maud’s current thoughts are often garbled with past memories of the brief period when her sister, Sukey, goes missing after WWII.
Told by Maud, an unreliable narrator due to dementia, it’s a fascinating and empathy-cultivating look into what someone with memory loss endures every single day.
And, if you’ve been in the role of caregiver, you’ll also understand and appreciate Maud’s daughter Helen as she tries to navigate the tricky road of keeping Maud safe while Maud investigates the mystery.
The structure, the narrator, and the subject of this novel offer book clubs plenty to discuss.
BBC recently turned this book into a film and it looks wonderful. If you love to watch book-to-film adaptions together as a book club, this would be a great pick!
Looking for your next great read? Check out these similar books…
Here’s a brief summary of Elizabeth is Missing:
In present day England, Maud is slowly losing her memory and her independence, but she won’t let it stop her from finding out exactly where her best friend, Elizabeth, has gone. Certain that Elizabeth is in grave danger, she resolves to find her despite the fact that no one–not her daughter or son, not the police, nor Elizabeth’s son–will listen to her.
Armed with notes to jog her memory, Maud delves deeper into the mystery of Elizabeth’s whereabouts, but the clues seem to lead her further and further into the past, to the disappearance of her sister, Sukey, shortly after WWII.
As Maud’s memories from over fifty years before come back with renewed clarity, Sukey’s disappearance and Elizabeth’s intersect in unexpected ways.
Book Club Activity Ideas for Elizabeth is Missing:
Play your own version of Rememory, by making a quick set of cards. Or consider buying the professional set to use for many years.
Make three sets of cards (each set with one card per book club member). One set should have cards for a significant person in your life (you, parent, sibling, grandparent). One set should have cards for a significant event or season. And one set should have cards for a triggering memory (like “victory,” “loss,” “family heirloom,” etc.).
Set the cards in three piles and have each member draw one card from each pile and recount a memory based on whatever the three cards together bring to mind.
Discuss how someone else who might have been present during the event you remembered may have remembered it entirely different and how memory plays such a huge role in our lives.
Personally, I loved this book and it kept me thinking long after I closed the last page, which is always a plus for me (and many readers)!
If you are looking for a book that will spur discussion, touch on a wide-spread issue, and keep you turning pages, Elizabeth is Missing is a fantastic choice.
On that note, I’ve provided book club questions and a delicious recipe for Elizabeth is Missing, so if you are looking for food ideas and more, keep reading!
Click HERE for the book club questions for Elizabeth is Missing!
Click HERE for the food ideas for your book club for Elizabeth is Missing!
Have you read Elizabeth is Missing? What did you think? Did it satisfy you or were you left wishing for more? What are some similar books you’ve read?
Until next time, Happy Reading!
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost to you or the featured book’s author). All opinions are 100% mine and every book, unless otherwise noted, is handpicked by me to be featured on the site.