Friday, March 16, 2018

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

He knows his left arm will go next.

Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.

Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.

My thoughts-

You probably have heard of Lisa Genova because of her excellent book turned movie Still Alice. What you might not know is that she has so many other great books, all dealing with different neurological issues such as Huntington's Disease, Autism, and in the case of this newest book, ALS. Every Note Played is a book full of emotion and hard truth. Not everyone that has a degenerative disease was a great person before their diagnosis, and I appreciate that Genova takes us through Richard's internal struggle of dealing with the past that now haunts him as his imminent death weighs on his mind. We see Richard from the beginning of his disease and watch it progress and get to be in his head to see how he is feeling about it all. Another aspect I really appreciated about this book was the focus on the primary care giver. It is never easy to be the care giver for someone so ill, so it was interesting to follow Karina's journey as well. Every Note Played is another great book from Lisa Genova. I hope that this one is given the Still Alice treatment and that we get to see it come alive on the big screen some day as well. 

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