Sunday, April 15, 2018
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
This is the story of a divorced couple, Richard and Karina. They're forty-five, and met in college where they were both studying piano. Karina came from Poland, and, while in school, she was the more accomplished pianist. By the time of the story, Richard is world-renowned as a classical pianist. Now that their daughter, Grace, is in college, Karina lives alone, giving piano lessons in the house in Boston where they moved early in their marriage. It's at a party that Karina learns Richard has cancelled his latest tour because he has ALS.
Viewpoints alternate as the reader learns about the progression of Richard's disease through his eyes, and through Karina's. When she's in town, and he accidentally calls her in an emergency, they both realize he has reached a stage where he needs more attention than he's getting in his condo. Karina offers to have him move back in, and she becomes his primary caregiver.
Did you notice the unemotional way I summarized Every Note Played? That's one of the two problems with the book. Every Note Played is very unemotional. It's interesting to see the progression of ALS. But, it's hard for the reader to care because the other problem is Richard. He's a selfish man, and there's very little reason to feel sorry for him. The characters lack emotion and depth in this story.
I loved Still Alice. I can't say I really enjoyed Every Note Played. It read like a textbook, rather than a novel. Interesting, yes. But, the characters were too cold, and it was hard to become emotionally involved in the book.
Lisa Genova's website is www.lisagenova.com
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova. Scout Press, 2018. ISBN 9781476717807 (hardcover), 307p.
FTC Full Disclosure - Library book