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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.
Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Julia on 03-21-18
Gripped me from the first word.
I did not like this book. I adored it. Yes, the subject matter of ALS is devastatingly sad but it is one of those subjects that is either swept under the rug or spoken of in hushed tones. In ‘Every Note Played’ it is approached without frills and very much in your face. It is raw yet poignant.
It is a story of great loss. Loss of a god given gift ripped away by a heartless disease. Loss of love stolen by pride. Then remorse followed by a kind of peace that touches your soul.
Lisa Genova has,as ever, done her research and is medically accurate. This is a superb book as time flies when you are listening to it. The narrators gave brilliant performances.
Five stars all the way.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Wendi on 03-23-18
Not Nearly As Good As Her Others
What I feared might happen has definitely happened. Lisa Genova is showing more of her 'neuroscientist' personality in her books, which should be a balance of rich, complex characters as well as neuroscience.
I loved 'Still Alice.' I adored 'Left Neglected.' The O'Brien's are a family I won't soon forget. However, 'Every Note Played' falls flat. (Pardon the pun).
Usually we see the 'beginning' of the rare disease Genova writes about. Her characters have symptoms and then get diagnosed. In 'Every Note Played' we are immediately notified that the main character, Richard, has ALS. We are then told his story and the story of his ex wife.
The description of ALS is so personal and effective. The way Genova describes the ongoing ruin of Richard's body makes the reader (listener) cringe. The picture is clear, and Richard's pain and suffering are so real. Obviously, as always, Genova has done meticulous and immaculate research on the progression of the disease. (All of her books are focused on some kind of disease or disorder).
The problem is, the characters are completely unlikable. I wanted to stop listening several times because, quite frankly, I hate all three major characters- especially the one with ALS. Genova has disassociated the fiction with the facts, and the book comes off only as an in depth description of what happens during the frightening and terrifying stages of ALS.
I was hoping for more, but I respect Genova's writing and research abilities. Bring back characters like Alice and the O'Brien family Lisa!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Carol Gladwin on 05-28-18
So touching and insightful.
Love her characters and ability to help you relate to them. She is an amazing storyteller.
By V Nerd (Kermit), Reviews by Audio Killed the Bookmark on 05-25-18
5 Heartbreaking Stars
Oh my goodness this book certainly hits you right in the feels!
This is all about the story of Richard and Karina, they were married for a while, but it all kind of went pear-shaped and they split a few years ago, they have a daughter between them, Grace, who is currently at University, and doesn’t really have much to do with her father.
Richard is a pianist, a really famous concert pianist, he has played all over the world, and has many fans and admirers, Richard loves this, he loves that fact that people love him, he is quite an arrogant man.
Karina is also a pianist, she prefers Jazz, she gave up her dream as a performer to support Richard in his dream.
The thing is, Richard took advantage of this, while he was away playing with the orchestra, Karina was looking after their new baby, Richard however was looking after his own needs with other women!
Karina couldn’t take it anymore, and rightly left him!
Richard is unfortunately diagnosed with ALS, he tries his best to cope with it on his own for a while, but after a strange twist of fate and a wrong number dialled, Karina ends up being his carer.
This book pulls no punches in relation to this awful disease, it starts from the twitching in the muscles, and takes us through every terrible thing that can happen after diagnosis, like the wheelchair, or the fact that your body locks itself, or that you can’t swallow, or that you have the option of recording your own voice and “banking” it, because after a while you won’t be able to talk / eat / chew anymore.
A big shout out also has to go for the guys who help care for people diagnosed with ALS, they are angels in a time of hell for the person with this awful disease, their time and patience with these people is remarkable.
You may know a little about ALS, like seeing Stephen Hawkins, or you took part in the ice Bucket challenge to raise money for it.
You may have first hand experience of this silent killer, I luckily for one have not, but i sure do send my hugs & prayers to anyone that has.
Not everyone is like Stephen Hawkins, in fact ALS will probably kill within 3 years, it is a devastating disease, and i hope one day that we find a cure, because currently there is NOTHING!
I didn’t realise that Lisa Genova was a neuroscientist, but after reading Still Alice & this book, it kind of makes sense, she knows exactly what she is talking about, and pulls no punches and rightly makes no apologies for it.
It broke my heart, but i am am so glad i read it
Prepare yourself for this one, it’s a tough read.
Find your hankies,
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sydney Cider on 07-03-18
This is a wonderful, touching story buy the female narrator with the whispering voice drove me insane. Totally ruined the story for me. I started every chapter hoping it would be the male.
By Marian on 06-25-18
Another unforgettable book by Lisa Genova. What a gift she has in portraying unimaginable conditions in such a way. This book has so many layers and the connections with classical music were awesome. Just had to keep listening. Will stay with me for a long time. Thank you.