Design a site like this with
Get started

Every Note Played – Lisa Genova

Title: Every Note Played

Author: Lisa Genova

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Plot: Richard is a well known, accomplished pianist. He can no longer play. He just had to cut his tour short. Richard has retreated to his house, alone and frustrated. Richard can no longer use his right arm. He has ALS. Richard is resistant to the changes. He is slow to hire people to care for him. He wants to keep his independence. Karin is his estranged ex-wife. She is a piano teacher supporting their college age daughter. When Richard can no longer take care of himself and his care takers cannot be there when he needs it, Karin becomes his unwilling caretaker. They quarrel for days until they ignore each other, unless Richard needs it. Slowly, they start talking and listening to each other. As Richard’s ALS progresses, Karen is forced to do more and more for him. Some intimacy returns to their relationship. Karin’s friends and Richard convinces her to go on a weekend trip. Their daughter begrudgingly returns home to care for her father. While there, Richard loses the ability to walk completely. Their daughter is forced to take him to the hospital. Then they begin to talk again. As Richard continues to lose more muscle control and voice, he seeks forgiveness from Karin and their daughter. But will it be in time? Or will his offers of forgiveness be in vain? Doctors can offer Richard ways to extend his life, breathing tubes, artificial lungs, etc. but will Richard want that?

Rating: 3.0. – a slow and steady read about a man’s journey of forgiveness

Plot: This was another book I read for a class. Of the choices I was given, this one seemed the most interesting. I was intrigued by the protagonist being a musician and learning more about ALS. At first, I thought the book a bit dramatic. It took me a little to get into the book. I tried not to get too attached to Richard because I knew ALS isn’t curable. But it was inevitable because you can relate to his need for forgiveness. It is also easy to relate to Karin and their daughter. They are hurt by Richard’s betrayal and deal with in their own way. It is only when they can see Richard making efforts that they start to forgive him. At the end, I got upset along with the characters because I’d grown attached to them all. I felt what they were going through. The author does a great job going through what Richard and Karin are going through and thinking about. The author knew what she was writing about. I was curious about how the author knew so much about ALS and the process of the disease. Lisa Genova is a neuroscientist who’s turned to writing. She’s also written books of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. This book is good if you’re looking for a book about forgiveness, loneliness, and coping with loss. This book also teaches about ALS and how to best provide for their help, if and when they want it. This was a good book and I recommended it, though some tissues might be needed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: