Siobhán Carew

a b o u t t i t l e s b l o g

l i n k s c o n t a c t

B l o g

1 October 2016
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Every now and then a book blows me away. This time it was Elizabeth is Missing. It's about an old woman who keeps forgetting who people are (including her daughter), and what's she done. She writes notes to herself in an attempt to stay in touch and focussed on what's driving her. All through the book, she keeps writing notes to say that Elizabeth is missing. Elizabeth is her friend who lives in the house with the pebbles on top of the wall. Maud (the old lady) gets into hilarious scraps, but of course she gets away scot free because as soon as she's done something, she forgets, and often stands nearby, looking at the consequences. So she never suffers guilt, and that makes some of the scraps easier to bear.

Beneath Maud's obsession with her friend's disappearance, a story of long ago unfolds.

Maud herself if the narrator and I just wanted to hug her in between my howls of laughter. The language is wonderful and inventive. The descriptions of what's going through Maud's mind are a window into the reality of someone losing their memory, and they are bang on target. For example, on page 4 '... there's an animal, an animal for wearing outside, lying over the arm of the settee. It's Carla's. She never hangs it up, worried she'll forget it, I expect.' Maud's descriptions get better and better: page 238 ' ... but soon I see it is one of those things to move about on: two wheels, handlebars. Not a wheelbarrow.'

If you want to read a book that will take you by surprise, read this one.

30 September 2016
About that mouse
I was sitting watching TV this evening, totally caught up in the tribute to Terry Wogan, feeling maudlin at his loss and yet laughing because what else could I do, at the antics and wit he had delighted us with for so very long. Towards the end of the programme, my eye was caught by a movement at the side of the open doorway into the hall. There was that mouse, grinning at me with his teeth on view, like a mini furry Terry. I turned back to the television. Oh give me the real Terry, any day, everyday. I wouldn't have to run from him, or make sure that I was wearing mouse-proof shoes. I shall be terrified tonight, certain that every light movement of the duvet is the blasted mouse creeping up on me.