Monday, May 7, 2018

Every Note Played - Lisa Genova

Lisa Genova writes the most brilliant stories. Her latest book, Every Note Played, is one of her best.

Richard is a world class pianist - he lives to play. He's also a father and an an ex-husband - both roles he is/was not so successful at. But then Richard starts having problems with his hand - and his arm. And then the diagnosis - ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) - a disease that  paralyzes the diagnosed - and there is no cure. With no one else to turn to and limited finances, Richard asks his ex-wife Karina to tend to him. She reluctantly agrees.

Genova's exploration of love, loss, grief and ultimately forgiveness and redemption is so gut wrenchingly good. We are privy to both Richard and Karine's thoughts as they navigate this new uncomfortable reality while trying to make peace with what has come before - before it's too late.

Genova is a neuroscientist. Her descriptions of the progression of Richard's ALS are graphic, real and hard to read. Hard to read as I had tears in my eyes multiple times. I was aware of this devastating disease, but learned much through this book.

I chose to listen to Every Note Played. Some books are even better as an audiobook. This was the case with Every Note Played. The narrators were absolutely perfect. Dennis Boutsikaris 's voice is expressive, capturing the range of emotions that Richard is experiencing. His enunciation is clear and his voice is pleasant to listen to. He changes his delivery as Richard's disease progresses. Dagmara Dominczyk's voice is quietly measured, not rushed and very much suits the character of Karina. Listen to an excerpt of Every Note Played.

Genova's words are powerful, her characters authentic, and her premise relevant to everyone's life in so many ways. Absolutely recommended.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading this book - great review! JJR

Kay said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book and now having read your thoughts, I'll likely listen to it on audio. Have loved other books by Lisa Genova. I always tell people that she puts a human face on dire diseases - in a very compassionate way. Such a good writer, in my opinion.

Luanne said...

Thanks JJR!

Kay, you've nailed it - human face on dire diseases. Listening to it drew me more into the story than a printed book would have. I agree, she's a brilliant writer.

bermudaonion said...

I almost picked this one up the last time I started a book. It sounds like I need to get to it soon.

Luanne said...

Not an easy read Bermudaonion, but so very well done.

Ethan said...

As a classically trained pianist, this one may hit a bit too close to home for me!

Luanne said...

Oh Ethan - it just might. The descriptions of the music and his love for playing were wonderfully done. The loss of that love and more is hard to read.