Friday, January 12, 2018


Author:  Lisa Genova
Genre:  Realistic Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2018
Personal Rating:  4.25/5 (very good +)
Format:  eBook
Yearly Count:  2

From NetGalley:
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.

Whoa.  I couldn't sleep last night, so I picked this up and finished it at 3:30am.  As I put my iPad down, I continued to sob as quietly as I could to not wake my husband.  Blah.  I don't remember the last time I cried when reading a book.  This book touched me.  BUT, I didn't like how it touched me.  

I love, love, love Lisa's writing.  Love it.  However, even within that, I didn't think this one had enough build up.  It felt like it went immediately into doom and gloom.  Then, it just got deeper and deeper in Richard's failures -- body, mind and soul.  I understand that this was about just that.  That's what ALS does.  It's beyond miserable.  I can't think of any pleasant diseases, though, can you?  

So, ultimately, I learned an incredible amount about ALS and respect Lisa's diligence in getting it out into our hands.  This is not a joyful story, but a very plausible one.  Sometimes those are the most difficult to read.

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Gallery/Scout Press and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.


  1. I don't think I've ever read Genova but it sounds like I need to.

    1. Bermudaonion ~ YES! Get on it ASAP!!!

  2. This author does such a wonderful job of putting a human face on such awful diseases. It takes skill and bravery. Lisa Genova knows her science and she can write. Amazing! Looking forward to reading this - sad topic or not.

    1. Kay ~ HI! :) You said it!!! And, I agree 100%.

  3. I'm not going to even read what you've written because I want to go into the book completely cold, but I am SO glad you gave it such a high rating!!! I love everything Genova has written and am so eager to read this new one about ALS. Can.Not.Wait!!!

    1. Les ~ It's a winner! Hard to say "enjoy," but you know what I mean.

  4. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing EVERY NOTE PLAYED! Sorry about the sobbing--I know ALS is a tough subject. Thank you for having the courage to read it!

    1. Lisa ~ WOW! I learned so much through this story and appreciate all your effort. Your books touch me so deeply.

      I have something I want to share with you regarding Still Alice (one of my most fave books of all time). If you see this, let me know the best place to contact you.


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