Thursday, 15 March 2018

Every Note Played


Author: Lisa Genova
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Type: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
First Published: March 20, 2018
First Line: "Richard is playing the second movement of Schumann's Fantasie in C Major, op. 17, the final piece of his solo recital at the Adrienne Arsht Centre in Miami."

Book Description from GoodReadsFrom 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 Rating: 4.5 stars

My Review: After hearing of Stephen Hawking's death yesterday, a brilliant man who lived with ALS for decades, I decided to post my review of Every Note Played, which focuses on a talented pianist who suffers from ALS. 


In Every Note Played, Lisa Genova once again explores the emotions and issues surrounding a neurological disorder. This time, she focuses Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a progressive and chronic neurodegenerative disease that gradually paralyzes a person, leaving them with mental acuity but trapped within their bodies until eventually they are unable to breathe.

Genova, who has a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard, educates her readers on the disease and debunks some myths but readers won't feel overloaded with information. The facts are blended well within a story about a fractured family and readers will come away with a better understanding and sympathy for those who live with this disease and see the toll the disease has on the family as a whole. 


Genova has lost friends to this disease and her connections to her characters and the issues are evident. This is an emotional read about family, loss, making amends and regret.  Keep the Kleenex box handy for this read.  I dare you not to tear up as you witness this once proud, professional pianist lose everything he 'thought' was important to him as he battles this incurable disease.

Currently there is no cure but to help create awareness and fund research for a much needed cure, Genova provides ways readers can help and get involved.

Disclaimer: This Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.



2 comments:

thecuecard said...

Yes I'll probably get to this novel. I liked her book Still Alice. This one sounds equaling heartbreaking and informative!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

I loved Still Alice and liked her other books (although I preferred Julie Lawson Timmer's "Five Days Left" on how it handled Huntington's). This book is my second favourite Genova book so far. I hope you get your hands on a copy!

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