Saturday 30 June 2018

Every Note Played

Finished June 28
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova, read by Dennis Boutsikaris and Dogmara Dominczyk

This novel was amazing. Along with her own knowledge of neurological diseases, Lisa Genova has really done a lot of research for this book, and you get a definite sense of the awfulness of this disease, ALS, for both those who suffer from it, and those who care for them.
Here Richard, a reknowned classical pianist, is diagnosed with ALS, and we watch how he deals with this, at first alone, until he needs to acknowledge that he needs help.
Karina is his ex-wife, and the two had a long, but difficult marriage, marred with resentment on both sides, lies, betrayal, and unfulfilled dreams. Each had a hand in the derailment of the other's dreams, and the breakup was not an amicable one.
Their only child, Grace, is away at her first year of college, and is at first unaware of the situation her father is now in.
As we move from Richard's point of view to Karina's, we see how the love of music, of piano, that first brought them together, is still a link between them. We see how each struggles with both resentment and guilt over the missteps of their history together. ALS is a disease both predictable and unpredictable, in that you know where it will end, but not necessarily how it will get there. For Richard it starts with his right arm and hand, but he doesn't know when or what the next loss will be. As the disease progresses, we see how he deals with the new loss, and how Karina comes to terms with her role as caregiver.
Each story that I've read by Genova brings me understanding and empathy for those who suffer from these neurological ailments. ALS is a particularly horrible one, and this book makes that clear.

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