Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Unfinished Works of Elizabeth D.

Author: Nichole Bernier
Goodreads Rating: 3.77
My Rating: 3.5
Pages: 309
Reviewed by: Nicole

Before there were blogs, there were journals. And in them we’d write as we really were, not as we wanted to appear. But there comes a day when journals outlive us. And with them, our secrets.    Summer vacation on Great Rock Island was supposed to be a restorative time for Kate, who’d lost her close friend Elizabeth in a sudden accident. But when she inherits a trunk of Elizabeth's journals, they reveal a woman far different than the cheerful wife and mother Kate thought she knew.    The complicated portrait of Elizabeth—her troubled upbringing, and her route to marriage and motherhood—makes Kate question not just their friendship, but her own deepest beliefs about loyalty and honesty at a period of uncertainty in her own marriage.    The more Kate reads, the more she learns the complicated truth of who Elizabeth really was, and rethinks her own choices as a wife, mother, and professional, and the legacy she herself would want to leave behind. When an unfamiliar man’s name appears in the pages, Kate realizes the extent of what she didn’t know about her friend, including where she was really going on the day she died.    Set in the anxious summer after the September 11th attacks, this story of two women—their friendship, their marriages, private ambitions and fears—considers the aspects of ourselves we show and those we conceal, and the repercussions of our choices.

I won this book as part of the First Reads program over on Goodreads. I got super excited about it, but I had to put it off because of a million reasons. Turns out I just wound up with a bunch of sad books to read all at once because I had The Last Lecture at the same time. It still made for a good summer read.

I will admit I cried a little while reading this book. I was read a lot of sad books at the same time, but it was very sad reading about young children that were left behind when their mother died. Perhaps what hit closest to home was that this was all in post 9/11 world...like right after 9/11. 

I found myself having a hard time connecting with Kate, and that I didn't care much for her side of the story, I was more interested in Elizabeth and how her life went. I found it hard to connect with Kate as she seemed to shut out Elizabeth's husband and then her own husband while exploring Elizabeth's journals. She was so caught up in the journals that she didn't even seem to be bothered by her husbands lying to her about smoking. It was sad that Kate cared more about the journals at the expense of her own relationship with her husband.

I loved Elizabeth's story, learning about her beginnings and her family and what happened to her and everything that she went through, with her sisters death and being a caretaker for her mother. I felt very at peace with the ending of this book which surprised me a little. I was sad for Kate's ending but how Elizabeth's parallel story ended seemed better.

I thought this book was a good book, very well written, but in the end it just wasn't my type of book. I do still recommend this book to fans of Chicklit. 

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