Monday Musings | When Your Friends Read Your Blog

Read Away Winter Blues One More Page

This morning I was catching up with my best friend on the phone. At the end of our conversation, to my delight, she told me that she had downloaded Elizabeth is Missing, Boy, Snow, Bird, and The Goldfinch to her Kobo after reading about them on my blog. My first reaction was excitement (I’ll be able to discuss things with someone I know in “real life”!); my second reaction was nervousness.

Being a blog owner, for me, is kind of funny that way. Of course I hope that my posts are read by many people and spark a lot of discussion (especially these Monday Musings posts – I always love reading your comments!) but whenever I think about the fact that some of my readers are people I know in real life, I always feel a twinge of self-consciousness. Do you ever feel this way?

I’m not sure why this is the case for me. Realistically, those who know me should be the least likely to judge me harshly. But I suppose it’s my need to impress that makes me feel nervous whenever I find out a friend (or even family member) has stumbled upon this project of mine. However, I do feel energized and elated every time a close friend tells me my blog inspired them to pick up a book. I guess there are two sides to each situation!

How about you? Do you enjoy knowing that your personal friends read your blog? Do you ever get self-conscious about it like I do sometimes (most of the time)?

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Signed Book Giveaway | Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Signed Book Giveaway Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey Book Cover kmn04books One More Page

**Thank you to Random House Canada for providing me with a copy of Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey for this giveaway!**

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Elizabeth is Missing by now – it’s a brilliant novel written by debut author Emma Healey and is centered around Maud, an 82-year-old woman who believes her best friend Elizabeth is missing. There’s only one major problem: Maud is extremely forgetful due to her dementia. Click here to read my spoiler-free review of the book, and here to join the Elizabeth is Missing Blog Search!

I was lucky enough to be invited by the book’s publisher, Random House Canada, to have lunch with Emma Healey this afternoon. I was so excited that I was able to attend because, as you probably know, I absolutely loved the book. It was such a pleasure to hear her talk about her writing process and how she was able to tap into the mind of an 82-year-old.

Elizabeth is Missing took Emma five years to write, and the inspiration for the novel came from her grandmother, who briefly thought that her friend was missing. Emma told us that as an only child, she would sit quietly and listen to her adult family members talking among themselves during visits and she attributes those conversations to her ability to write more mature voices. She also mentioned that she found it challenging to write from the perspective of someone her age because, ultimately, comparisons would be made to her own life. By writing about 82-year-old Maud, no one would wonder if the story was linked to her personal life and past.

I found all of this to be so fascinating and it made me want to re-read the book again already! I was so happy to hear that Emma already has a loose idea for her next novel – I will definitely be looking out for that. For those of you who have read Elizabeth is Missing, did you like it? Why or why not? And for those who haven’t read it or have read it but don’t own it, here’s an opportunity for you to win a signed copy!

  **CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY**(Canada-only – sorry!)

Meeting Emma Healey author of Elizabeth is Missing One More Page Blog

CONTEST RULES:
1. No purchase necessary
2. Open to residents of Canada only
3. Please do not cheat on the tasks, I will be checking them once a winner has been chosen
4. If a winner is picked and their Twitter account only has giveaway entries, I will choose again. I want the winner to genuinely enjoy these books!
5. Have fun and good luck!

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.

Elizabeth is Missing Blog Search

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey Blog Search on One More Page blog

Elizabeth is missing.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll know that I received a copy of Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey from Random House Canada to review earlier this week. Well, I finished and loved the book so much that I thought I would do something a little interactive and fun to get my blog readers as excited about it as I am! So, let me introduce the Elizabeth is Missing Blog Search! 

Elizabeth is missing and it’s up to us to help her friend Maud find her! I have hidden clues all over the internet for you to find. Once you solve a clue, you will receive a new clue until you have found everything. You will also find one word with each clue. There are four words (and five clues) in total. These four words will spell out a phrase. When you think you know what the phrase is, come back to my blog and enter the phrase here! Please note that the password does not have spaces! Example: DOESNOTHAVESPACES. Let’s see how many of you can figure it out!

To make things a little easier, I have some links for you (also pictured above):

My Facebook page: http://facebook.com/onemorepagereviews
My Pinterest account: http://pinterest.com/karenfma
My Twitter account: http://twitter.com/karenfma
My Instagram account: http://instagram.com/onemorepageblog

And to start you off, here is the first clue!

“Elizabeth is missing. Has she had food to eat? Maybe we’ll find her where birds like to tweet.”

(Since I’ve gotten tired of having the tweet pinned on my Twitter, here’s the answer to the first clue!)

Happy searching! PS. This is a SPOILER-FREE blog search, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the book yet!

**Disclaimers:
(1) This blog search was not organized or suggested by Random House Canada. This is something I thought up on my own because I loved the book and was incredibly excited to share and discuss it with you all!
(2) The Elizabeth is Missing heading in my picture above was taken from a picture of the book cover shown on its Goodreads page. **