BOOK CLUB: Every Note Played

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Author: Lisa Genova
ISBN: 9781925685299
RRP: $32.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Lisa Genova is the bestselling author of Still Alice which has been made into an award winning film. It is the only Genova title that I have read but she is certainly one cemented on my watch list.

Every Note Played is an in-depth and insightful exploration of the insidious ALS, the disease at the heart of the Ice Bucket Challenge; suffered by Lou Gehrig and Stephen Hawking. ALS is a disease that doesn’t discriminate, it could strike anyone.

Genova pens a heartbreaking tale of ALS when it strikes an accomplished concert pianist, whose first love has always been the piano. On tour and in the prime of his life Richard heads to the doctor for what he thinks is a bout of tendonitis, only to discover that it’s the early stages of ALS.

Less than a year later and things are progressing faster than he would like. Denial is no longer an option and Richard is watching his life slip further away, and take his independence with it.

Karina is Richard’s ex-wife and the mother of his child. The two have a volatile relationship and now that their daughter is away at college they don’t speak at all. Karina is a piano teacher and not finding it as fulfilling as she once did but she is still paralysed by excuses and fear, afraid to pursue the career path that once excited her.

Every Note Played explores ALS and the effect it has on Richard’s body, and on his mind, but it’s also a story of making peace. Karina and Richard are both holding onto more than their fair share of resentment and anger about their failed marriage and they don’t seem to own any of the responsibility for what went wrong.

Richard finds himself unable to live on his own and the only real option is for Karina to become his carer and have him move back into the house they once shared. Their relationship is still strained and there is a lot of resentment, living in such close quarters gives them endless opportunities to work through their issues and find forgiveness but will such strong willed people allow themselves to bend that far.

Genova pulls no punches in her stark and heartbreaking portrayal of ALS and the devastation it wreaks on bodies. She shines a light on the 24/7 nature of care required and gives a nod to some of the other high profile personalities living with ALS. This story is touching as well as devastating. The long road that wound down a lot quicker than expected and the long road to forgiveness for a passionate couple who were once so deeply in love.

All relationships were assessed and analysed as Richard became more and more trapped inside his head, being cut off from reliable communication leaves him introspective. Terminal illness can make or break a family and in this case, I think there was finally some progress made, but it was still a long time coming.

Karina and Richard are both characters who were drawn in great detail, who we got to know intimately as they wrestled with their issues. They held resentments from long before Richard’s disease brought them back under the same roof but once they are back in their marital home and Karina becomes his carer they start to grow new resentments.

My favourite character in the whole story is Bill, he is one of the home health aides caring for Richard and he is the absolute embodiment of compassion. If I ever need a personal care nurse I want someone just like Bill. We learn the motivations for his chosen career and we get to know him. He is empathetic but he is also more than just a nurse. He becomes a friend but he also treats more than just the challenges Richard faces, his care encompasses the family. He is invested and makes sure that he can remain one of the carers after Richard moves out of his area.

Every Note Played is a story of finding the courage to forgive and to really live, it’s about learning the peace that you can find for yourself when you offer forgiveness. It is raw, heartbreaking and sometimes hard to read but at the same time it is well worth the read. Genova has obviously done her homework, the story is well researched, beautifully written and emotional. I love that she is shining a light on tough topics and helping to bring these diseases into conversation, to make them talking points and hopefully bringing them extra attention can assist in the long term goals of treatments and cures.

Definitely well worth read, I would wholeheartedly recommend Every Note Played.

Lisa Genova can be contacted on, Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster 30 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading Every Note Played so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

Every Note Played is published by Simon & Schuster and available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

29 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Every Note Played

  1. This book was extraordinarily accurate in the depiction of the devastating progress of ALS and the effects on patient, carer and family /friends. Although I completed the book within 24 hours , emotionally I found it very difficult to read due to the personal experience of caring for a terminally ill mother- it brought back many memories both pleasant and unpleasant. My situation was similar to Karina, the ex wife, in that there was undigested resentment living between my mother and I. Every day closer to her death was a day of hoping for resolution. I feel grateful to have been given the opportunity to read this book as it has helped to understand and acknowledge the ups and downs of my own personal story. I would have appreciated the support this book offers during my caring trials and I believe ‘Every Note Played” would be a wonderful resource for hospice libraries or for carer support groups in general.

  2. A deeply immersing read, both intelligent and highly compassionate.
    Lisa has done a wonderful job of blending the stark physical realities of living with a degenerative physical illness with the emotions of the sufferer and their loved ones. Richard and Karina are very human, with flaws and guilt as well as being characters I wept with and over. The secondary characters in particular daughter Grace and Bill (God Bless Bill) were beautiful. If I’m ever in need of a carer, I want Bill.

  3. Absolutely glorious – how anyone can make something as devastating and distressing as ALS, the disease that claimed Stephen Hawkins, inspirational and beautiful reading, as Lisa Genova has, in “Every Note Played” is something I can’t understand but she has. I’m not going to pretend that this was easy reading. There was one stage when I wasn’t sure I’d be able to continue but I set the book aside for a few hours, took deep breaths and was able to continue, ending feeling so wrung out but inspired and thankful.

    “Still Alice” is one of my all time favourite books – also by Lisa Genova and “Every Note Played” is just as brilliant. Lisa Genova has detailed this devastating disease in such detail but also explored in a very real way the characters and the way they relate to each other so that once reading is finished the beauty of the individuals and the way forgiveness triumphs is inspirational. You can feel and identify with each one, the unbelievable realisation of a gifted concert pianist losing his ability to play and eventually his ability to do anything for himself and the way the other wonderful characters respond.

    It is beautifully summed up in the first few lines of the back cover – “From the best selling author of Still Alice comes a powerful and heartbreakingly moving exploration of regret, forgiveness. freedom – and what it means to be alive.” Richard’s story and the acceptance and love of the other characters will stay with me for a long time. I’m planning on sharing this book but only with those I know will return it to me. It is one of the most brilliant books I’ve read. I can’t thank Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster enough for the opportunity.

  4. Every Note Play is a raw, honest, no sugar coating account of what it is like to be diagnosed with ALS (the fatal motor neuron disease) and how it impacts those around the sufferer. I kept hoping for a happy ending or that the book was going to be less depressing, however as my hubby pointed out there is no happy ending in these sorts of situations. For life to be taken away from anyone to soon and in such a debilitating way is not fair any way you look at it.

    I have studied and worked in the Disability field this isn’t something I was naive about. I have seen first hand how disabilities and illness can affect all those involve. Something that I have all fingers and toes crossed and hope no one I hold near and dear would have to endure.

    The main character Richard an esteemed Pianist, dedicated his life to his work. Confident and talented however his private life was a shambles. A marriage turn sour, a daughter he hardly knows, resentment, and blame; he harboured lots of hatred. With the disease that was slowly taking his life he was left face these demons and the need to find courage and forgiveness. His estranged wife and daughter too face this with him. The book is a journey of their experience and the devastating realities.

    I give this book 5 stars, while It’s still a very confronting read I appreciate that author Genova wants to create awareness to ALS/MND and find a cure to this horrid disease. Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Simon and Schuster Australia for the reading/reviewing opportunity.

  5. At the beginning of the story, we are introduced to Richard Evans, a world-renowned concert pianist who has been diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) in recent months, and has lost the use of his right arm entirely.
    Karina is a Polish immigrant and was once married to Richard. Together, they have one daughter, Grace.
    Like Richard, Karina is a talented pianist, but she gave up her career to support his, and to raise Grace.
    The two separated after Richard was unfaithful on numerous occasions; their relationship has been strained ever since.
    Karina is now a piano teacher, too afraid to return to the journey she began as a young woman, holding herself back, and living with regret.
    As the story unravels, Richard’s condition goes from bad to worse, and as he begins to lose the use of his muscles and voice, he realises that he is unable to manage on his own.
    Richard moves in with Karina, and although she is reluctant at first to help, she soon becomes a great support to him.
    We are taken on an emotional rollercoaster as the pair try to reconcile their past before time runs out.
    One of my favourite characters in Every Note Played is Richard’s carer, Bill. His personality is as bright and colourful as a firework, and he treats Richard with dignity and humanity. He brings so much to the story; his tenderness and compassion bought me to tears more than once. I adored him. H is the book character you want as your real life friend.

    Lisa has described the medical facts in great detail without it being disproportionate to the overall story line, and I learnt a lot about what a person with ALS would go through.
    I read Every Note Played within a few days, and even after I finished it, I kept thinking of the book. I made a donation to MND Australia as I felt compelled to help in some small way.
    I thought that this was a brilliant book. Lisa brings characters to life so well; they became more than just characters for me. I felt so sorry for Richard and for his family too.
    It is quite simply a beautiful novel that I won’t forget in a hurry.

    Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Beauty & Lace Book Club for the opportunity to read Every Note Played.

  6. This book made me feel a whirlwind of emotions while I read it. One of them was confusion because I didn’t understand all of the musical references, as I’m sure was the same for many readers. But that doesn’t take away from the amazing story line.

    It’s very hard to accurately describe how dealing with an illness like this changed not only the person but he family. Genova does this well. Which only makes me love her more as an author.

    Overall I’d give the book 4.5 Stars

  7. I loved the book ‘Still Alice’ so when I received ‘Every Note Played’ by the same Author I was really keen to get reading. Lisa Genova writes with a true understanding and compassion of her subject matter.

    Every Note Played takes us into the life of Richard who is a much accomplished Concert Pianist. He has devoted his life to his music and that single focus has taken its toll in other areas of his life such has his marriage and his relationship with his daughter. When Richard is diagnosed with ALS one of the hardest things to deal with initially is the fact that he can no longer play his beloved piano. As time goes by Richard has to deal with the loss of more and more areas of his life that we all just take for granted. Losing independence is a hard thing to deal with but there is no other choice and Richard is forced to re-evaluate what the important things are in life. His health battles leave him with a lot of time to ponder his life.
    Karina, Richards ex-wife has her own battles to deal with when she decides that she will be the one to step in and care for Richard. I understood exactly where Karina was coming from when she made this decision. When you love someone enough to marry them and have children with them then just because something goes wrong and you both move in different directions it doesnt mean you no longer cares what happens to that person. She did what she knew was right for her even though it was hard and her life became no longer hers.

    I was in hospital when my copy of this book arrived and although I tried to get reading it didnt quite work out but as soon as I was better and home I jumped into my copy and loved it. This book gives you understanding of what those who are battling ALS and those who are caring for loved with ALS have to deal with. I found it sad but at the same time loving and very real.

  8. Every Note Played is a must read . It is one of the saddest books I have ever read but needs to be read. The ex wife put her life on hold to care for her husband. It would have been extremely hard to watch someone slowly die and know you can’t help. It is
    Wonderful that there are people like BILL in this world and it gives everyone an insight into this dreadful disease.

  9. Thankyou Beauty and Lace for selecting me to read Every Note Played written by Lisa Genova
    Lisa is the author of Still Alice and all I can say is she has done it again
    Richard is a world renowned pianist who develops ALS, the disease is taking over his body and ability to play the piano and also his independence with normal daily activities,
    He is divorced from Karina they also have a daughter, Karina is a talented piano player herself,
    Karina makes the decision to look after Richard
    My favourite character in the book was Bill, Richards carer
    This book really gave me an insight into ALS which to be honest I knew nothing about,
    I found this book to be quite sad and I pray in my life I never have to deal with this disease

  10. Lisa Genova has delivered again with her latest novel Every Last Note. Her stories are educational, insightful, gut wrenching and capable of sustaining your interest to the very last word. Unlike Inside the O’Briens where the story is around a fully functioning family unit, this time she makes us think about what our options would be if our circumstances were different and not so functional. Who really can we rely on for support when we have fractured those most important relationships and what are the consequences of that?

    I really enjoyed this read, and this author (having read all of her work so far) and appreciate learning so much about the diseases she places into the limelight through her work (this time ALS), without any real effort as the stories and lives of the sufferers are so engrossing. Would definitely recommend and thanks to Simon & Schuster and Beauty & Lace for the read.

  11. This is a book that will stay with you long after you close the cover. Lisa Genova has written an engrossing, moving and thought provoking story that will also teach you a lot about ALS and neurological disorders. Lisa allowed us to intimately get to know the main characters with all their flaws and idiosyncrasies and explore the complexity of various relationships. Richard, a famous pianist, loses the use of one hand and is diagnosed with ALS. After a period of denial the disease rapidly progresses and Richard starts to lose his independence. A difficult relationship with his family means that he does not have anyone to care for him other than his ex-wife Karina. My sympathies switched between both Richard and Karina as details of their relationship were exposed – neither wholly the victim or the aggressor but both with their own faults and mistakes. The book made me reflect on how quickly life can turn and the importance of not leaving things unsaid until it is too late. I loved this book and give it 5 Stars!!! Thanks for the opportunity to read it Simon & Schuster and the Beauty and Lace book club. I will definitely be reading Lisa’a other books now although the bar has been set high!

  12. Lisa Genova, best known for her novel Still Alice, which was made into a major motion picture, resulting in an academy award for leading actress Julianne Moore, is back. Lisa Genova is a great campaigner for neurological based medical diseases. In Every Note Played, Genova pits a famous concert pianist against the debilitating ALS or Motor Neuron disease. It is the same disease which finally claimed the life of world renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, just over a month ago.

    Every Note Played signals the third novel that I have read by the bestselling author of Still Alice fame, Lisa Genova. I am always quite astounded at Genova’s ability to bring yet another neurological condition to the forefront of her novels and she does it again with her latest release. Overall, I would best describe my experience of reading Every Note Played as educative, penetrating, piercing and deeply honest. It is confronting and hard going at times, but it is worth persisting with this important tale.

    At the centre of this tale is respected professional pianist Richard. Richard first came across to me as an arrogant, unlikeable and imperfect character. He has made mistakes in his life and is estranged from a number of family members as the book opens. Still, my sympathies towards Richard strengthened as the book progressed. I found it truly awful watching his fall from grace. From his first diagnosis, to the slow and painful progression of losing control of nearly all parts of his body, the whole experience is just heartbreaking to witness. Genova takes a seething approach to highlight just how powerful this disease is when it takes hold. She carefully catalogues the medical issues at the heart of the disease and the nonstop regression it takes on its prisoners. It is a disease we learn does not discriminate, it doesn’t target any particular set of people. ALS can touch anyone, at any time. Many scenes involving the loss of bodily functions and Richard’s loss of control over his body, as well as his life, were gut wrenching scenes. Genova also juxtaposes Richard’s loss over the physical aspects of his life, to the emotional semblance he gathers at the book progresses. Watching on as Richard tried to make amends with estranged family members and come to terms with the downfall of his marriage was a poignant journey that I appreciated following.

    Genova’s fine characterisation extends to the other narrator in this novel, Richard’s ex, Karina. Karina is also a character who has her flaws and she has also made some mistakes during her life, which Genova extends upon. We witness Karina’s forgiving and kind nature as she takes Richard, her ex, back into the home, despite it being a painful, as well as a draining move. Through the character of Karina and daughter Grace, we gather a sense of understanding as to how ALS effects family members and those who unconditionally take on the care of sufferers of this disease.

    The secondary characters are also a highlight in Every Note Played. Recognition must be given to Bill, Richards’s carer. Bill is a true champion for carers and the tireless work they perform every day. These miracle workers are truly amazing and Genova gives us a glimpse of their world through Richard’s team of carers, such as the endearing Bill.

    Music features as an undercurrent in this novel. If you are a fan of classical music and jazz this novel will have added appeal. Personally, it was a nice offset to the stark tone of the novel. I loved the placement music had in the final moments of the book. Music also presents a form of hope to Karina, a woman with an unfulfilled dream to work in the jazz music field. The added little motif of a musical note on each page printed on this novel was a nice touch. I think it gently reminds us just how important music was to Richard’s life and that he should not be defined by his diagnosis.

    It is clear that Genova is passionate about raising awareness to ALS, through the publication of her novel, Every Note Played. There are some personal reasons why Genova chose to write this novel and to specifically share the story of a sufferer of ALS, which is covered in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section of the novel. There is no faulting the level of dedication and research Genova has conducted to inform her novel, it is a comprehensive and revealing snapshot of ALS.

    I can recommend this novel to all readers, especially if you appreciate well researched psychological based stories.

    *I wish to thank the publisher, Simon & Schuster and Beauty & Lace Book Club for providing a copy of this book for review purposes.

  13. Thanks Beauty and Lace along with Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review every note played.
    Wow Lisa Genova you definitely know how to write a very emotional read. Plus the understanding of how ALS actually effects not only Richard but everyone and everything he ever loved.

  14. Every Note Played by Lisa Genova is a story about Richard, who is a very successful concert pianist who has ALS. This disease hasnk cure and the story covers the loss of his independence, and how his estranged wife, Karina, moves back home to help look aftef him. This book is an emotional read, both from Richards perspective, learning to rely completely on others as his disease progresses, and Karina’s perspective, becoming the carer for her invalid husbànd.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It did make me cry though. Thank you to Beauty and Lace, and Simon and schuster for the opportunity to read this book

  15. Every Note Played by Lisa Genova is a confronting, hard hitting and well researched novel.
    This book is about a world famous concert pianist who is diagnosed with ALS,
    an incurable motor neuron disease.
    Richard thinks he originally has tendonitis, a common ailment for pianists.
    When he receives his diagnosis of ALS, he understandanlly is in denial.
    Richard has to cancel his booked concert tour as he is no longer able to play his beloved piano.
    His Manager reports Richard has a bout of tendonitis, so as his diagnosis is revealed, his fans are shocked.
    He admits to his ex-wife, Karina, he is terminal and can no longer look after himself.
    He does have some home care and one of his carers, Bill, is portrayed as a wonderfully warm, professional with a quirky nature.
    Richard sees a multitude of specialists of ALS and it is explained to him the progression of the disease,
    how slowly, one by one, his muscles and organs will fail, leading ultimatlely to his death.
    Richards ex-wife Karina agrees to become his carer.
    He has not admitted to his daughter he has a fatal disease and when she discovers his prognosis through a friend,
    she is understandadly hurt and angry.
    Lisa Genocva has deeply researched the stages that a patient with ALS goes through,
    and as Richards disease progresses, we follow the heartbreaking loss of his muscles one by one.
    She has written with such depth that you can feel the loss of each muscle as it happens.
    Richard and Karina have had a rocky history, she blames him but her cannot see where he wronged.
    We follow them as they work through their issues and try to make peace with each other and themselves before they run out of time.
    I found this review difficult to write as I work in the local Hospital and see the heartbreaking effects of conditions like ALS, Dementia, Huntington’s
    and other terminal diseases everyday at work.
    Sadly, these effects people of all ages, gender and nationalities.
    Most people have little to no knowledge of the medical, social and financial impact of this.
    Lisa Genova is also the author of Still Alice, one of my top 5 best reads and Every Note Played has taken its place with them.
    I highly recommend this book but don’t pick it up and expect an easy read or a happy ending.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Simon and Schuster for the oppertunity to read and review this amazing book.

  16. Every Note Played is an emotional rollercoaster , poignant, beautifully written and gripping.

    It’s based around Polish immigrant Karina and her conceet pianist estranged ex-husband Richard. Their relationship was complicated…Richard cheated and Karina had her own secrets too.

    Now bound together only by their college student daughter Grace, Karina learns that Richard is suffering from the debilitating and terminal condition ALS, otherwise known as Motor Neuron disease or ‘What Stephen Hawking had’.

    This is all the more topical as Stephen Hawking only died recently and this has brought the conversation about quality of life vs quantity to the forefront of our minds.

    Karina, through misdirected guilt, pity, duty or a mixture of reasons eventually decides to become Richard’s carer.

    Richard’s decline in functionality is all the more horrid because his career, his life, his very existance revolves around his beloved piano and his career as an acclaimed classical concert pianist.

    Karina was also destined for greatness as a classical pianist, but her true love is jazz. Something Richard could never understand and a love she dissolved as a dutiful wife and mother.

    I found myself constantly drawn into the debate of what would I do if I was in this situation…knowing the outcome?

    And Lisa Genova’s ability to weave the classical music into the text, like a constant calming accompaniment is brilliant.

    I loved reading Every Note played and I love Lisa’s mentions of the ALS charities at the end.

  17. Most of us would be familiar with Stephen Hawkings journey with ALS and the devastating effect it has on ones physical body, but not the mind.
    Richard, a revered and accomplished concert pianist, finds his body quickly starving away and the author, Lisa Genova, captures all emotions and rollercoaster ride that Richard experiences – from disbelief, reluctance, resentment to overcoming his pride and the heartbreak of living with this neurological disease.
    Also struggling with Richards diagnosis and his aloof relationship with their daughter, is Karina, Richard’s ex wife, herself a pianist but not as accomplished. Afraid of being pushed away but with no one else to care for him Karina becomes his reluctant carer along with the help of caring and compassionate Bill.
    Before reading Every Note Played, I was not very familiar with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrigs Disease and it is very evident by Lisa’s extensive research that this is a true to life, almost biographical novel of a once known friend. Lisa is a brilliant writer, having written the Oscar nominated ‘Still Alice’ and having studied a PHd in Neuroscience at college, this deeply passionate, human story is also intermingled with the actual symptoms, signs and side effects of ALS.
    If you think you would enjoy a deeply touching, personal and unforgettable novel that makes you think as well as tugs at the heartstrings, give Every Note Played a read,

  18. Every Note Played was one of the most emotional and raw books I’ve ever read. It was both educational, heart warming, and heart wrenching all at the same time. I didn’t know anything about ALS before I read this book, but feel I have a good understanding to the horrible symptoms and decline that the sufferers and their families go through.

    While I didn’t like Richard as a character, I would never wish the pain and suffering he experienced on anyone. It is an eye opener that we need to put our loved ones first, as we never know what will happen. It was well written, especially the raw honesty of the emotions the family and loved ones experienced.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace, and Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

  19. Lisa Genova’s new novel Every Note Played is a moving and profound study in the hideous death sentence that is ALS and its inexorable and inescapable march on the lives of its sufferers and in turn their families and loved ones. At times almost too sad to bear, this novel explores not only the disease but the relationships of Richard and his family which are quite suddenly and forcefully brought to the forefront.

    Certainly a tearjerker but also leaves the reader feeling somewhat incongruously hopeful, I will certainly be recommending this book to family and friends, Thanks to Beauty and Lace, Lisa Genova and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Every Note Played.

  20. i found this quite an emotional book to read as my father in law suffered with MND similar but different, and it was so very hard as a family to watch his independence fade away.

    I thought it was very well written and didnt hold back what its like to suffer such horrible illnesses

    Have already passed this along to other family members and i am sure it will “do the rounds”

    My heart went out to Karina and felt every emotion with her.

    11/10 stars

  21. Thanks for the opportunity to read Every Note Played

    What a heart wrenching storyline of the devasting ALS & its effects on everyone concerned Richard & Karina are both strong characters who although seperated come together as the disease takes its course & Richard needs a carer both interesting characters but along comes Bill a personal care nurse my favourite character
    The rest I will leave for everyone who I hope get the chance to read this awe inspiring story

    I highly recommend this book & thank you Lisa Genova

  22. First up thank you Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster for selecting me to read this book. This is my very first book by Lisa Genova and again I am so grateful to have been chosen to read this book.

    It was an emotional rollercoaster ride. I felt happiness, anger, frustration, confused and immense sadness. Before reading this book I did not know the depths of ALS my main knowledge was knowing that Stephen Hawking suffered from it. What a heartbreaking and horrible disease for anyone to suffer through not only for themselves but for their loved ones to watch them be taken away by it.

    This book is a must read and I highly recommend it. Very well written and no sugar coating. Thank you Lisa for a great book.

  23. Every Note Played is an emotional and well researched story on the degenerative disease ALS. When Richard, a concert pianist, is diagnosed with ALS he is at first in denial but as the degeneration of his muscles progresses he must face a life without his beloved piano. Genova goes through Richard’s slow degeneration and explains the symptoms in a poetic rather then clinical way. The characters inner feelings are expressed with clarity and compassion. Richard and his wife are divorced and we get both sides of the story with a dual POV. Genova focuses on relationships and forgiveness, the all consuming job of caring for a terminally ill loved one and the wonderful job done by home help workers. Had me in tears. A recommended read.

  24. This book is the first book in a long time for me, that I wasn’t able to put down.

    Lisa Genova takes you through the thoughts of someone who is diagnosed with ALS. Beginning with Richard who is in denial about his ALS and his wife Karina who refuses to believe that he actually is suffering from the disease. Richard who is a pianist and is known for playing at grand locations around the world has his life turned upside down when he is diagnosed with ALS.

    The book takes the reader through both Richard and Karinas thought process. Richard who is coming to terms with the immediate decline in his health and Karina as the ex wife who takes it upon herself to become carer to an ex husband that she has despised for so long.
    This book left me crying through the last couple chapters. Recommend it for all who will want to read it.

  25. Every Note Played by Lisa Genova is a must read book about the devastating effects of ALS on the body and the resounding emotional turmoil. I enjoyed reading the on-going and strained relationship between Richard and Katrina and how the ravaging effects of Richard’s ALS and subsequent side-effects healed their relationship. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster Publishers for the opportunity to read this book and to learn and have a greater understanding of ALS.

  26. I found Every Note Played by Lisa Genova to provide such insight into the disease ALS. It showcased not only the disease and the decline in health, but the true emotions and impact that it can have on a whole family. This novel follows the story of Richard who is a concert pianist and his ex-wife Karina, who had big dreams of being a jazz pianist but forfeited this dream early on to be a mother. The lives of Richard and Karina come together again when Richard is unable to care for himself in his own home. This is definitely a story of healing and forgiveness, and yes it is a bit of a tear jerker.
    Thank you, Beauty and Lace, for the opportunity to read this book. I enjoyed learning about the disease of ALS and it has given me a lot more understanding regarding the disease.

  27. Every Note Played by Lisa Genova follows the life of Richard, a concert pianist, who starts showing symptoms of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
    Richard is in massive denial as he knows that he will one day no longer be able to function let alone play piano. He tells his agent that he has tendonitis so that his concerts around the world will be cancelled and as Richard reaches each milestone of losing control of his body this fabulous book follows his story.
    Every Note Played shows that even in dysfunctional families there is sympathy for those that are suffering. Karina, Richard’s ex-wife, selflessly opens her home to him in his hours of need and helps him through each and every decline of the disease.
    As I started crying from page 65, this book was a challenge to read – can’t read whilst out and about or if you know someone is coming to the house BUT it is a book that was hard to put down. If this book is made into a movie you will not get away with the small pack of tissues that fit into your handbag but will need the family size box and no sharing.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read this amazing book.

  28. Gosh, this book had me hooked from the 1st page, I couldn’t put it down.
    It was so moving and you could feel the conflict from all parties. It was artfully written, at first I thought I was going to favour 1 character over another and to my surprise I was moved by everyone. Their pain was so palpable, it caught me off guard and felt utterly absorbed by it.
    I would recommend it this to anyone who is looking for a book with heart and depth!!!
    Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity of reading ‘Every Note Played’… It’s a story that left footprints….!

  29. Richard is an accomplished concert pianist, with a history of performances all over the world. At least, he was 8 months ago. He has been diagnosed with ALS – his right arm is completely paralyzed, and he knows his left arm will be next.

    Three years ago, his wife Karina took down their wedding photo from the wall. But she still hasn’t been able to move on, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for not following her dream of jazz piano.

    As Richard’s health deteriorates and he can no longer live independently, Karina reluctantly becomes his carer, as they both try to reconcile before it’s too late.

    Having read some of Lisa’s other books before, I had a rough idea of what to expect. What I didn’t expect was to be able to vividly see, and feel, what Richard was experiencing, as if I was living it myself.

    Richard and Karina are characters that I love to hate. They are both arrogant and self-absorbed, and hold only blame and anger for each other. However, I love that the characters did not change majorly throughout the book. Many books have characters starting off like this, who then become all sweet and loving, but these characters do not change so drastically. There’s no real happily ever after, and I really appreciate that.

    The descriptive language used in the novel really allowed me to really experience ALS in my own way. When Richard experienced difficulty swallowing or breathing, I could feel myself experiencing it too. I love reading books that allow you to be in the characters’ shoes.

    I’m really glad that I read this novel!

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