Costa First Novel Award Winner 2014
Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it.
She sometimes thinks her daughter Helen is a total stranger. But there’s one thing 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 it, Maud will get to the bottom of it.
©2014 Emma Healey (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
Narrator was brilliant, from an old lady to a irritated policeman she does it all well.
I found the book very sad, no one understands her and ( like me) she forgets the words for things.
The frustration you can almost feel...
The ending seemed rushed but is worth listening to just to get a sense of where we will all be in our 80's and maybe help us all understand our elderly a little more and help us to be more sympathetic and caring.
I manage an aged care service and want to buy a copy of this book for all my staff. A fantastic account of what it must be like suffer from dementia. Although the story may sound a little dry from the description, don't let this fool you. I have been raving about this book since I finished it.
I really enjoyed the insights into dementia as well as the rather creepy story. The plot is a clever way of combining past and present with recollection being a natural part of old age and often running alongside dementia. I particularly liked the daughter character, her barely controlled impatience at times and yet her total loyalty to her mother.
I go to bed with very sore eyes and don't seem to be able to read but I can listen for hours what a wonderful experience this was. The narrator was really good with characters even when she did male voices. Loved it I will be back for more and more.
It is a poignant story of a woman who is afflicted with Alzheimer/dementia, and the way the book flicks back to past and present is done brilliantly. I loved the way the two stories tie up at the end. riveting listening. I cried during this book as well as laugh out loud. a great book.
The narration was absolutely brilliant. One of the best female narrators I have heard.
Have listened to it twice and will do so again. Brilliant.
The basic idea is interesting, an elderly woman with advancing dementia recalling a tragic family mystery. Could make a good film. Unfortunately it's just too long and I got fed up with the main characters constant indignation. By the time I got to 5 hours left I was so frustrated I had ceased caring about the story so I skipped forward to the last hour and got the conclusion.
Wonderful story & insight into progressive dementia. Brilliant narration. Captivating characters - a story within a story.
Should be mandatory listening for all Aged Care workers. Cant wait for more from this author.
only sorry Audible Books keep cutting off mid chapters, even when fully downloaded.
"Relentless, Poignant and Incredibly Insightful"
If you require a clear narrative in your detective fiction, you will not like this. The POV of a woman suffering from dementia makes it a very compelling and radically different type of storytelling. But I loved it. I fell in love with the character. My heart went out to her, and Anna Bentinck's narration was superb.
Beyond simply being a very innovative approach to narrative, it really gave me a perspective on people suffering from dementia. I'm never going to cluck my tongue at my mother again.
"Insightful, sensitive, intriguing"
As the daughter of a 91 year-old widow who still thinks her mind is sharp as a tack, I found this book particularly poignant. The author shows great insight into the mind of her heroine, its intertwining of past and present and the confusion of drifting between the two. The portrayal is sensitive and sympathetic, suggesting familiarity with the problems of encroaching dementia. The interwoven story of Maud's youth and the mystery which has left its mark on her emotions is wonderfully told and delightfully connected with her perceptions of the present day. Her distress at being unable to find her only friend, so important to older people who have lost just about everyone else in their lives, is very real. The conclusion to the mystery is a wonderful culmination to the book, which can have no happy endings. I enjoyed the way details of present objects led to recollections of the past and connected the two stories together.
The narration of this book was particularly outstanding. Anna Bentinck gave every character their own, recognisable voice and her portrayal of Maud, the central character, was sensitive and appropriate. I really enjoyed this book and would look for others by the author and narrator.
"Fantastic Book! I loved every minute of it."
I have recommended this book to several of my friends and family.
Well, Maud of course, but also the granddaughter who was so kind to her when everyone else was treating her like a silly old woman. She didn't assume that Maud had lost her sense of humour just because she was old.
All of them! They were all well rounded characters and either lovable or loath-able (is that even a word?) The range of 'Maud voices' was very well done and gave great depth to the story.
Maud, Helen and Peter - was that man annoying or what! Such a pompous windbag - I wanted to give him a good slap!
The only thing that I kept on thinking was, why didn't Maud make a note of Elizabeth's whereabouts once she knew of them? She wrote everything else she wanted to remember down, but not that most important thing ... but then, there wouldn't have been this wonderful story.
one of the best books I have read. really puts you in the world of a demented old lady. I now have a greater understanding of where their world is and a fascinating whodunnit to boot
A delightful and intriguing read. The author has both humour and a wonderful insight whilst weaving a mysterious tale. And as usual fantastically narrated by Anna Bentinck.
"Elizabeth is missing"
One of the top stories I have listened to. two.women missing 50 years apart a whodunit with a difference!
The main character is searching for Elizabeth whilst suffering the beginnings of Dementia
Her reliance upon slips of paper to work as an aide memoir, dated but what happens when you don't remember the date or if you have already acted upon what's on the paper
Anna brings the characters and story to life with the feeling that you are a character within the story
The main characters narration and her sudden confusion as to who this woman in front of her is.
The story itself takes the listener into how it must be for somebody suffering from dementia and how sometimes she will recognise her daughter and grand daughter then suddenly wonder who these people are.
Although the character is suffering from dementia, the actual story is about two missing Somerset gif th years apart. It is a who done it with many red herrings and twists that when the story ends you are left wanting to remain and hear more.
Wonderful thought provoking enjoyable adventure
Never judge a book by its cover ....is so true of this book
Addictive - thought-provoking - mystery
That would give the story away!
I think her voice was just right. She got Maud's vocal age very well.
Both. Made me think a lot.
Look forward to another book!
"a very poignant tale"
this was a very poignant story told from the POV of an elderly lady with dementia. the way the author described the condition was really enlightening as I have very little knowledge of it and it opened my eyes as to how sufferers must feel. heartbreaking to listen to in parts, this is a wonderful book.
"A distressingly human story so well told"
How frail we are! The narration was wonderful, depicting Maud as an increasingly disturbed lady and a young innocent girl. I think I knew the outcome but wondered how it would resolve. I have to say I found the story and the telling deeply depressing but would have felt almost cowardly to "look away" as we so often do in society. Hopefully this will be made into a film to further increase our understanding of dementia in all its forms. Well done to Emma Healey for a brave story.
"Humorous, empathetic and gripping"
Really loved the story and the narration was spot on. Anna easily moves you for the different speakers and it feels like a radio drama than a novel. The story is superb too. It made me chuckle and also helps me have an insight to how it may feel to lose your memory.
"Beautiful, sensitive and real."
I was blown away by this book, the portrayal of a descent into Alzheimer's was so accurate and so well done. The family's exasperation and love was true; it's not easy, pleasant or comfortable to see your family member lose their personality , lose their wit , lose their knowledge of you. As importantly in this book was the present and past mystery.
Fantastic narration by Anna Bentick- I will look for more by her- she pitched all of the voices perfectly- accents and more importantly ages. Superb all round.
Very moving story, beautifully narrated, completely absorbing. Perfect choice of narrator who brings the story to life and easy to listen too straight away.
"Sometimes emotionally hard to keep going, but worth it"
The book is narrated beautifully, and Anna Bentinck really captures the desperation and frustration of the main character, and the rest of the family, especially the daughter, who is her main carer. Emma brings to life how suddenly dementia can take hold of a persons life and the effects it has on everyone. Beautiful story bought to life
"charming but strange & unusual narrative"
quirky idea, not quite sure what kept me listening as really, slow moving but exceptionally performed. very insightful & some beautifully written sections
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