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January 1, 2019

Every Note Played



Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
Fiction
2018 Scout Press
Finished on May 10, 2018
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

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.

Lisa Genova's books are an instant purchase for me. I have read all of her novels and while none are as good as Still Alice (reviewed here), I still love each and every one.  It took me a little while to get invested in Every Note Played, but I eventually came to care about Richard and Karina and was moved by their story. Once again, Genova reveals the horrors of another disease. ALS, Alzheimer's and Huntington's Disease are all dreadful, but after reading Every Note Played, I think ALS must be the worst.

About the author:

Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, and Inside the O’Briens. Still Alice was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Stewart. Lisa graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about the neurological diseases she writes about and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Today, PBS NewsHour, CNN, and NPR. Her TED talk, What You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer's, has been viewed over 2 million times.

12 comments:

  1. I had a dear friend who was a musician (jazz flute player), who had ALS. He lost his ability to play the flute quite quickly with the disease, but he turned to poetry for his creative outlet. An amazing person, he lived over 10 years with the disease. I'll put this on my list for some time. Happy New Year, Les!

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    1. Robin - Interesting that your friend with ALS was also a musician like Lisa's character in this novel. One of my former bosses had it, but he wasn't diagnosed while I was working for him. Sadly, I don't think he lived nearly as long as your friend. Have you read anything by this author? This was quite good, but I think Still Alice and Left Neglected are her best.

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  2. I can't believe I've never read her work because everyone seems to love it. Happy New Year to you and Rod!

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    1. Kathy, she is quite a storyteller and does such a fantastic job showing her readers what these diseases are like on a very personal level, not just the victims, but for their families and friends, as well.

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  3. I need to read this one. She really is a great author isn't she? Hope this new year brings you a lot of good books!

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    1. Iliana, she's never disappointed me. I've enjoyed some more than others, but all of her books are so engrossing and really make me think.

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  4. I really want to read this one and am thinking of reading all her books this year. Some will be rereads. I noticed that I have two print copies of Still Alice. I keep picking it up thinking that I don't have it. She does put such a human face on terrible diseases and also lets the reader understand some of the challenges.

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    1. Kay, I reread Inside the O'Briens a few months ago, but haven't read any others more than once. I'd like to reread Still Alice and Left Neglected as those are my two favorites.

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  5. I still haven't read this one and I do like this author. Glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year Les.

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    1. Diane, hope you get a chance to read it soon. I borrowed it from the library, but I may have to get a copy for my shelves.

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  6. Yes, although I dread Alzheimer's because it's more common, ALS is a nasty, nasty way to die.

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