I would really like to sit and have a café crème with the authoress Emma Healey. She was on the cover of The Sunday Times not so long ago and I avidly read the article about the background to her first novel from cover to cover, as it were.
I try really hard not to buy books in hardback because, apart from being pretty pricey, they are usually a lot less easy to read in bed (find it increasingly harder in these senile years to be anywhere else for a good cosy read, although am determined to take a brisk weekend walk to the nearby Musée Rodin gardens in the spring, where for the symbolic fee of 2 € you can enjoy Literary Ramblings to your heart’s content under the approving eye of “The Thinker” handily placed next to the imposing “Gates of Hell”…) – but, post ramble, now confess to having bought this book in hardback in the autumn because it was basically impossible to resist.
We are back in tricky DementiaLand and, like Still Alice, we have another unreliable narrator to deal with. But the joy of this new read is that Maud also embroils us in a mystery story about the elusive Elizabeth, who Is Missing. After a certain amount of time we too begin to feel we are losing the plot, not unlike daughter Helen, and every bit as imprisoned as poor old Maud herself, so a short break and a walk around the park is sometimes required reading.
For me, the novel just about carries the intrigue off, although it does feel more like a clever piece of fiction and verges perilously close to caricature on occasion, so its works slightly less well for me than its counterpart. Do look forward with open arms to the next book from the intriguing Emma H, however, and will do my very best to wait until it comes out in paperback…
Read in September 2014.
Rating : 9/10
Winner of the Costa Book Award for First Novel 2014, Winner of Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year for 2014