Every Note Played

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

Another Lisa Genova neurology novels. This one deals with a concert pianist that has ALS. Very heavy, but a good depiction of the decline that occurs as part of the disease. Very well-written.
Was this review helpful?

4+ stars. I am a huge Lisa Genova fan, having read and loved every one of her books now (Still Alice is still my favorite). I always learn so much in her books, and each is about a different disease or condition that someone outside of the medical community like me may not have heard much about--as in Still Alice and Love Anthony, or were completely unaware of-1as in The O'Briens and Left Neglected).

One of my Utah cousins, when we first found each other 13 years ago as a result of our genealogical research, told me at that time that his wife had ALS, which I had only heard of as Lou Gehrig's disease, and I knew only that it was very bad. My cousin gave me periodic updates on...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Karina’s musical talent surpasses her boyfriend Richard’s, but she sacrifices her dream to their marriage and child, and then falls in love with jazz, a genre abhorrent to Richard. He builds his career as an international classical pianist, his inflating ego one of many factors in their divorce. He attempts to hide the onset of ALS from his fans, his agent, and Karina. Due to circumstances and finances, Richard moves back in with Karina, who takes over his care with the help of home health aides. In the year that robs Richard of his body, he at last opens up emotionally to his estranged daughter, and eventually he and Karina find a kind of peace.

Beyond being a graphic, heart-wrenching...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
Lisa Genova is a must read author for me. I have read and enjoyed each of her books. While they all are emotional reads, Every Note Played wrecked me. Richard, a concert pianist, is diagnosed with ALS. The novel follows his devastating battle with the disease. As always, Genova provides an up-close looks at how the disease ravages the patient, but also how it affects family members, in this case ex-wife Karina and college age daughter Grace. I think this is Genova's best novel yet.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a digital copy to read.
Was this review helpful?

Every Note Played is a heart wrenching story about a couple who lost their way but not their respect, for one another. Karina and Richard are both musicians who fell in love over the piano. Karina plays jazz and Richard is more of a classical purist, yet they are able to find commonalities even beyond their instruments. Over time though, secrets and insecurities creep into their marriage, ultimately contributing to its demise. This aspect of the story is not unique or new; the added dimension is that Richard acquired ALS about xx years after the divorce, and Karina becomes his caretaker. They each have to face their own internal demons as well as make peace with how they treated one...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

“He turns his head ninety degrees left, then right, testing himself, relieved that he can still do this. Once his neck and voice are paralyzed, he’ll be reduced to eye-gaze technology and a computer-generated voice for communicating. He opens his eyes wide and pinches them shut tight. Good. When he can no longer blink, he’ll be locked in. He doesn’t want to die, but he hopes he dies before that happens. Maybe that won’t happen.” • •

I will be honest and admit in the beginning I had some concerns -- I really, really disliked the main characters in this novel, so much so that I almost put the book down. I am so glad that I kept going because Genova did what she does best — she humanized a...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Just as Genoa’s previous book, this one was just as moving. I love how the characters were developed and the music background added an element to the story. The story was sad and touching. Similar to stories like You’re Not You by Michelle Wilder and Me Before You by John Moyes, this is another caretaker storyline where it involves husband and wife who are divorced. I liked the way the story weaves each partners part in the demise of the marriage and how they worked to communicate the hurt. I am glad that the two were able to come to a healing place. At first when we learn that Richard has ALS it was unclear why Karina would take him in when he didn’t even offer. She felt so angry...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
This novel centers on a heartbreaking situation: Richard, a concert pianist, develops ALS. He loses his career, his independence, and his dignity. His acrimonious divorce from Karina, also a pianist who'd put her career on hold when his took off, becomes a factor when his illness robs him of the ability to live alone. Both Richard and Karina are forced to deal with mistakes of the past. ALS is described in brutal, excruciating detail. A good story, but given the topic, not a fun book to read, and I had a hard time liking either of the two main characters. I felt sorry for them, but didn't really care about them.
Was this review helpful?
2.5 stars.  This book missed the mark for me.  This should have been a tearjerker as there were so many opportunities for emotional scenes, but they were just instead glossed over.  The author does do a phenomenal job describing ALS and the struggles both physically and mentally.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! The research that went into this book was amazing. The story was well done and I really cared about the characters and the emotions they went through. It was eye opening to learn what living with ALS means and the choices one has to make. Loved this book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a beautifully written and poignant story.  It touched on all the human aspects of ALS , not only those with the disease , but the caregivers and loved ones that surround them daily.  The redemption of past wrongs and how love and understanding was able to right them was the best and central part of the novel.
Was this review helpful?
Lisa Genova once again exhibits her amazing ability to humanize disease and medical conditions in Every Note Played. She is a master storyteller who develops characters that are very realistic and easy to relate to. I highly recommend this novel..
Was this review helpful?

I read Lisa Genova's Still Alice in 2014 and it made my best-of list that year. That book really spoke to me and I was impressed with Genova's ability to combine the science of an illness and a really wonderful story. It was not the first book I'd read by Genova; in 2012 I read Left Neglected and felt very much the same about it. Which meant that I am prone to want to read anything that she writes and was eager to read this one when I first found out about it.

One of the things that I said about both Left Neglected and Still Alice was that the characters felt so real and relatable. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same way about the characters in Every Note Played. The...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
really enjoyed the characters and plot of this book.  Thank you for allowing me to read.  I will follow this author for more books
Was this review helpful?

4 Very solid stars.
The concert pianist is loved by everyone. And no one.
I loved Every Note Played. Characters were real and faulty, they tried. They hurt, they healed. They loved.

ALS is devastating for anyone, but as a musician, I ached with Richard as he lost one hand, then another, his livelihood, his passion, his purpose. “Eight months ago, his right hand held five of the finest fingers in the world. Today his right arm and hand are paralyzed. Dead to him, as if they already belong to a corpse…the cool sleekness of the keys, and the touch is sensual, seductive. The keys want to be caressed, the relationship ready and available to him, but he can’t respond, and this is suddenly...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
Beautiful, powerful and importanat. Genova does it again.  Well written and such a heart wrenching story.
Was this review helpful?

I had read a previous book by Lisa Genova, Still Alice, and it absolutely moved me. When I saw Every Note Played on NetGalley, I knew I had to request it and feel extremely appreciative that I was given a review copy.

I love how the author gave the viewpoints of both the person experiencing ALS, Richard, and the one who ends up taking care of him, Karina. I found both perspectives moving and really tore my heart in two. It was just so heartbreaking to read how Richard’s body was physically deteriorating, but mentally still strong. You really feel how trapped Richard must have felt in his own body and just how difficult it must have been for him. Then, to learn about Karina’s past and...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

I had a difficult time finishing "Every Note Played." I read this book because I really enjoyed "Still Alice" and was hoping for something similar. While "Every Note Played" is similar in theme I felt that I was unable to connect to the book. Richard is not a likeable character, he is very arrogant and it's hard to feel for him and his diagnosis with ALS. That's not to say that I didn't feel for him, I just wasn't able to fully feel the pain and sadness that one would expect. I also found Karina to be a frustrating character. She often declares that Richard is the cause of all her problems when really it is herself. She uses him as a crutch...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Opening line:
"Richard is playing the second of Schumann's Fantasie in C Major, op 17, the final piece of his solo recital at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami."

This was a gut-wrenching, moving, insightful, painful, story about redemption, forgiveness, lost opportunities and relationships. I think it's worth reading the acknowledgements at the end of the book...
I love learning while reading fiction and my eyes were opened to this devastating disease and the humans who live with it.

The story is told in two point's of view: Richard and Karina.
Richard is a world-class pianist who has dedicated his life to playing, practicing and touring, possibly at the...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
A poignant and thought-provoking novel. Worth a read.
Was this review helpful?