Review: Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

I should have expected it. Every book I’ve read by Lisa Genova has pulled on my heartstrings, tugged at something inside me. But she still throws me for a loop every single time. I think it’s because she writes stories that could happen to anyone, tales of heartbreak that are far too real.

Richard and Katrina were in love once, the deep kind of love that’s supposed to last forever. Their love didn’t last, though. Richard became a world-renowned pianist. And Katrina? She gave up her dreams so that he could follow his. Eventually they drifted apart, and then finally their love was no more. In fact, it became a deep hate on both sides.

And then Richard becomes ill. More than just ill, however. He’s diagnosed with ALS. Denial at first, but that’s not enough to keep its progression at bay. When Katrina finds out she’s torn. She wants to feel compassion for him but it’s hard. Soon enough, the day comes when Richard can no longer live on his own. To her surprise, Katrina does the only thing she knows to do. She moves Richard and all of his medical equipment back home, to the home they once shared. And thus begins their journey to the end.

This story makes you feel so many things. It could easily happen to any of us. And how would we react? Would I be able to put my feelings of resentment and anger aside as Katrina did? Would I be able to put my life on hold to care for a person who I once loved but now hated? The answer is, I don’t know. None of us do until we are in that situation. And if we’re lucky, we never will be.

~ Thalia

Buy It Now: Every Note Played

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Review: A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber

  
A Girl’s Guide to Moving On is a REFRESHING look at getting over someone, developing a support system, and meeting new people. 

I so appreciated that Nichole and her mother in law Leanne leaned on each other and really loved each other. Making them live so close to each other was a little forced, perhaps, but it made the rest of the story flow: Nichole running into Leanne during a tough time, Leanne babysitting Nichole’s young son, etc. 

The ex-husbands are slimeballs, but I guess even slimeballs have redeeming qualities. Macomber does a good job allowing for situations where the reader might sympathize with them, yet not quite take their side. 

As a romance fan who adores a good happily ever after, I’ll tell ya that Nichole’s friend Rocco was a terrific hero. He may not have outwardly shown sophistication or refinement on a regular basis, but he certainly demonstrated it at the end when it truly mattered. Likewise for  Leanne’s friend Nikolai. Nikolai knew when to step back and when to step up, and I could’ve just cried over all the bread baking going on. Read it, you’ll see. You might want to start baking bread for – and breaking bread with – someone special, too. 

-calliope

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Review: The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery 

 

Three women in an L.A. suburb find themselves in the middle of some changes. Big changes. Marriage, divorce, pregnancy, death, grief, friendship, and new beginnings all play a part in this new series by one of my favorite authors. 

The writing is excellent, from the fleshed out characters to the descriptions of the coastal setting. Technically, everything is on point as Mallery invites us into the lives of three women of different ages, their families and friends, their businesses.

But there’s something missing for me. Excitement, maybe. And I get it that lack of excitement is one of the relationship issues in the book, but the reader should still somehow be pulled into the book… And I just wasn’t. For one thing, there was a lot of “telling instead of showing” (like when one character sat across from her friend and next to her other friend and put her purse on the free chair). I liked the book enough, but I wasn’t totally invested in it. It didn’t thrill me. 

On the other hand, Mallery successfully shows the reader real emotions. For example, one character is mourning a loss. Brava for getting to the nitty gritty of being beside oneself with grief. The scene at Goodwill – I can picture that kind of thing because I have seen people just UNDONE like that. I’m thinking WOW as I remember reading Mallery’s take on it.  And the spa scene with the possible future stepchild – realistic and full of tension. 

Although this particular plot was a bit of a downer for me, I enjoyed Mischief Bay and its inhabitants. I’ll be on the lookout for book number two. 

-calliope 

buy THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY

Review: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

*1I absolutely loved this book. The scenario is simple enough….Alice bumps her head and wakes up and can’t remember the last 10 years of her life.

Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Sure we can run into a friend that we haven’t seen for ages and judge them….how much have they changed….how much have they remained the same….are they thinner? Thicker? Do they act the same? Are they still lovely? Are they cynical? How much can someone change in ten years? How many life events can happen?

But stop all that….forget about your husband, you children, your parents, your siblings, and your friends….let’s stop for a second and look at ourselves. Whoa….that’s right….how much have YOU changed in the last 10 years? How has the changes you’ve made effected how people perceive you? How has it effected how you perceive OTHER people?

Not so simple now is it? We all know that people change…but it happens year by year….month by month….week by week…and day by day…..it happens so gradually that perhaps we don’t even realise it at all….until we wake up one day and ten years have passed….and we wonder…where did I go?

But Alice has no idea why she has changed. Why people treat her differently….she has only the view of herself from ten years ago…she has none of the newer memories that changed her to explain why….so she is left wondering how this could have happened. She is left judging herself and trying to figure it all out.

The novel gives you much to think about. The more you think about it, the more you have to think about. Imagine yourself 10 years ago…..now imagine your younger self looking at who you are today…with none of the knowledge of how you got there…..what would they see? WHO would they see? Would they be happy? Would they be a bit surprised? Disappointed? Would you feel confident that you had chosen the correct path and that you had made the right choices?

If not, would you be brave enough to make the changes your younger self desired? Sure we have all heard that saying….”If I only knew then what I know now”…..but really what does that mean? If you know it NOW, why not do the best you can to rectify it? Why assume that just because it was in the past that it’s too late to change yourself and try to make things better? Do we just use sayings like that for an excuse to take the easy road and not make changes in our life?

Again…so much to ponder here….I do believe I need to hurry up and read another Liane Moriarty book….this was pure bliss for me….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty