One Puzzling Afternoon
by Emily Critchley
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Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 09 Oct 2023
SOURCEBOOKS Landmark, Sourcebooks Landmark
for readers of Elizabeth is Missing with notes of The Maid comes a dual-timeline novel that balances heartfelt tenderness with a suspenseful mystery as elderly Edie Green uncovers the clues behind her best friend's disappearance before the truth is lost in her memory forever
I kept your secret Lucy. I've kept it for more than sixty years...
It is 1951, and at number six Sycamore Street fifteen-year-old Edie Green is lonely. Living with her eccentric mother and her mother's new boyfriend, she is desperate for something to shake her from her dull, isolated life.
So when the popular, pretty Lucy Theddle befriends Edie, she thinks all her troubles are over. Even though Lucy has a secret, one Edie is not certain she should keep.
Then Lucy goes missing.
Now in 2018, Edie is eighty-four and still living in the same small town, when one afternoon she glimpses Lucy Theddle, still looking the same as she did at fifteen. Her family write it off as one of her many mix ups, there's a lot Edie gets confused about these days. But Edie knows she's the key to finding Lucy.
Time is running out and Edie must piece together the clues before Lucy is forgotten forever.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 117 members
What a detailed,sad, mysterious story of a woman who lost her best friend over sixty years passed, and now; well into her eighties is fighting to remember her companion.
Edie does know that Lucy had gone missing long ago and yet with her dementia progressing, is unable to recall where she last saw Lucy or what has happened to her.
She is positive she saw Edie one day at the post office in present day, yet can that possibly be?
Can she solve this long ago mystery before she is unable?
I loved the way this novel is told in alternating timelines. It allows the reader to see what transpired before when the girls were young and then in the present day to create this journey and drama for Edie.
It is well done and definitely shows the progression of this horrid disease that tortures so many people.
I thank #NetGalley and #SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for this ARC and allowing me to read and provide my own review.
I will be looking for more of this author to read!
Very enjoyable read. Will be easy to recommend to many different kinds of readers. I’d like to read more from this author.
This dual novel is told from the perspective of Edie Green, a widow in her eighties who suffers from dementia. She's lived in the same English village for most of her life and now her son is selling her house so she can move in with him as she is getting to the point where she can no longer care for herself.
Edie starts having visions of her childhood friend, Lucy Theedle, a girl who disappeared when they were in school. Edie believes if she can figure out what happened to Lucy, she can prove to her son that sh'e's still perfectly capable of living on her own.
The current timeline shows Edie investigating as best she can with the help of her adult granddaughter, someone who understands computers and how to look things up on their phone. But the dementia makes it difficult, sometimes she forgets where she's going, who her granddaughter is, and even if her husband is still alive. She knows the key to Lucy's disappearance is locked inside her brain - if only she can find a way to recall it.
The second timeline takes us back to 1951 when she and Lucy becames friends at 17 and the events leading up to her disappearance. England is still suffering in the aftermath of WWII and Edie's mother moonlights as a fake psychic, urged on by Edie's stepfather, and much to Edie's embarrasment. She is hopeful that her friendship with Lucy, the child of a wealthy family, will lead her to a better life.
This book is not only a compelling mystery, but it's also a moving story about a dementia sufferer, and what it means for a strong, self-sufficient woman to come to the realization that her mind is failing and she is no longer the person she used to be.
The story will stay with you long after you've finished reading it.
This story has everything - emotion, mystery, suspense, great characters. I enjoyed it so much and appreciated that it was unlike most books that I've read before. In some ways it reminded me of Fried Green Tomatoes (it's not exactly the same by any means, but there are some similar things that I really loved). I especially loved that it gave me a wide range of emotional reactions!
Thank you for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.
This I absolutely loved this. The dual time line was done to perfection. It was so good. I am still thinking about it days later!
I just reviewed One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley. #NetGalley
I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book thanks to the publisher and Netgalley. It reminded me of the books Elizabeth is Missing and Still Alice. The author did a great job depicting what it must be like to be in the early stages of dementia from the point of view of the afflicted person. In this case, Edie wants to solve the mystery of what happened to her friend who went missing when they were teenagers, so she could show her family that she was competent to continue to live independently. The book alternated between her time when she was a teenager and now as an 80-something woman. She had a very unconventional upbringing, which made that part of the book interesting and unusual. I appreciated seeing what life was like during the Fifties in England. Despite her difficult childhood, she raised a wonderful family who stepped up to help Edie as her mental state declined. I particularly loved seeing her relationship with her granddaughter and the patience shown to her by various people in the community. I found this book a nice combination of a mystery and a sympathetic view of life with dementia. I recommend this book and think it would be a good choice for a book discussion.