I snatched this book from a shelf in front of the entrance of a local library. I’ve never heard of the title nor the author before. I decided to check it out simply because the jacket blurb said it was a suspense/thrilled, and it labeled “great reads” by the library. I end up loving it.Maud is an elderly woman suffering from dementia who was looking for Elizabeth, an elderly friend who is suddenly disappeared. With her memory slipping away, Maud tries to search for her missing friend while at the same time relive the memory of her missing sister, Sukey 70 years back.
Not long before reading this book, I read Liane Moriarty’s Truly Madly Guilty. And I found that both stories have a similar plot style; slow, dropping hints here and there, building tension & curiosity.
I think the author did a great job building the characters, particularly Maud. Being detached from her basic memory of her children, her own face, name of things, etc, Maud would describe odor, texture, comparing them with stuff she relates with the most–mostly from her childhood. And that’s how the author makes us leap from the present to the post-WWII period, Maud’s youth. And as the story reaching conclusion, I could feel that the dementia takes more control of Maud each passing chapter. Heartbreaking, really.
For some, slow pace might be a deal breaker that would put a book back in the shelf–unread.
For me, the dragging of life, actions, and (deteriorating) memory of Maud in this book kept me hooked until the end because: 1) Tiny clues across the pages that made me giddy, 2) I empathized with Maud and really wanted to stay with the poor old lady, and eventually 3) I wanted to know what happened with Elizabeth and Sukey.
Having said that, I need to give a fair warning for the thrill-seekers and mystery-goers: This book is not a whodunnit story. It emphasizes on how remarkably our memory and perception can twist a fact, and (quoting the blurb) how we are all at the mercy of our memory.