December 2014

2014 December Reads One More Page Blog

Books read:

*Little White Lies by Katie Dale
*Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
*All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
*Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
*Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
*Yes Please by Amy Poehler

It’s a little odd to be writing about December 2014 when the new year just started, but I didn’t get to my resolution to plan my posts better until a few days ago so let’s pretend this isn’t misplaced. ūüėČ

December went by in a flash for me. Surprisingly, even with the running around and holiday festivities, I was able to keep my average of reading 6 books this month. These were a really strong group of books for me and I enjoyed them all in different ways. However, I will say that Yes Please was one of my top reads this month. Not only was it a perfect Christmas present, it was also a funny and inspiring read for the holidays. If you’re a fan of Amy Poehler, you’ll definitely want to give this a go!

Blogging wise, I slacked quite a bit this month. I’m hoping that January means a new start; I can’t wait to begin.

How was your December and holiday season? Did you discover any new favourites? What was your favourite book of 2014? (I have no idea what my answer for this would be – it’s too hard to choose!)

Book Review | Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey Book Cover and Review

[I received a copy of this book from its Canadian publisher Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book.]

You know those books that make you want to drop everything you’re doing and read? Emma Healey’s Elizabeth is Missing was that type of book for me. Once I started, it was impossible to put down and my mind would always wander back to it when I was doing other things (oops!). I loved it so much that I even created an online scavenger hunt/search for Elizabeth! You can play along here.

Elizabeth is Missing is about 82-year-old Maud who is convinced that her best friend Elizabeth is missing. Elizabeth’s son Peter has been acting strange, and Maud doesn’t fully trust him. She also doesn’t understand why her own daughter, Helen, keeps telling her to stop looking for Elizabeth (among other strange requests). What are they hiding? Maud is determined to uncover the truth of Elizabeth’s disappearance, no matter what other people say. The one problem? Maud is extremely forgetful due to her dementia.

This novel is at once a page-turning mystery and a beautiful study of human relationships and memory. I found it really interesting which things Maud could and could not remember. Because of her illness, she forgets even the simplest things, like what she was doing just a minute before or why she is standing inside a police station. But she does remember many things in great detail: things in her past, events that affected her greatly, incidences that shape her into the person that she is. You see, years ago, Maud’s sister Sukey disappeared suddenly. One day she was living at home with her husband Frank, the other she was gone. She didn’t leave any explanation nor were there any helpful clues to where she went. Maud spends much of her life trying to find Sukey, and these experiences become her, in a sense. So even though she can’t remember the small, mundane things, she is able to recall past memories vividly. Will these memories help her find Elizabeth? Can she uncover the truth of Sukey’s disappearance?

Besides the interesting conversation on memory, Healey¬†also does a great job in showing and exploring human relationships. As you can imagine, dementia can be a difficult thing to deal with. I love that readers get to understand multiple perspectives, from the sufferer herself to her primary caretaker. I came to understand and sympathize with almost every character of the book at some point, and I attribute that success to Healey’s rounded writing and characterization. I loved this book¬†and would highly recommend it!

Verdict: A book that I could not pull myself away from. A realistic portrayal of illness and how far we will go to help the ones we love. A book that has a strong character suffering from dementia but doesn’t let that define her.
Read if: You love reading about family relationships and strong bonds between friends, mysteries that will make you want to know more until you’ve finally reached its conclusion, characters you can get to understand and really know, stories¬†that deal with illness but does not make that the ¬†book’s sole focus or purpose.

What is one memory you don’t think you’ll ever forget? Will you be checking out Elizabeth is Missing?

Elizabeth is Missing will be published in Canada by Random House Canada on June 10th, 2014.