Emma Healey wrote this book, her first, quite recently and it has been very well received.
I really enjoyed this book even though it was often quite uncomfortable to read. This is because Maud, the main character who is an old lady has Alzheimer’s and leads a frustrating and forgetful life. It is uncomfortable as you really feel for Maud but equally feel for Helen, her daughter, and the frustrations she also faces. However, what I think makes the book most uncomfortable is the fear that something like that will happen to you when you’re older plus most people will know someone who is affected by Alzheimer’s.
My main criticism (and the book club agreed) was that more could have been made of the mystery (most of us solved the mystery fairly early on). Also, we wanted to know more about some of the other characters, like Douglas and Frank. We were also disappointed that it wasn’t completely clear what happened in the end though we can make a very good guess. Maybe, this was Emma’s intention, to parallel the fact that Maud doesn’t get a satisfying ending to her own search and her mind remains in turmoil even after the mystery is solved.
That said, it was a very readable and thought provoking book that deals with a very difficult subject.
I would give this book 8/10.