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Every note played
2018
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A once-celebrated concert pianist who is gradually succumbing to ALS is forced to accept help from the estranged wife he pushed away, a situation that forces the couple to reconcile their past before time runs out. By the best-selling author of Still Alice. - (Baker & Taylor)

From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

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. - (Simon and Schuster)

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Booklist Reviews

Neurologist Genova, author of Still Alice (2009), about an Alzheimer's sufferer and the basis of an Oscar-winning film, shines a light on another devastating neurological disorder, ALS (aka Lou Gehrig's Disease). Gifted concert pianist Richard Evans has nurtured his career and talent at the expense of personal relationships. Then, at 45, he's diagnosed with ALS, a fatal disease that causes the death of the neurons that control muscles. As Richard's disease progresses and robs him of his career and the use of his arms, he stubbornly refuses to accept help from anyone aside from paid caregivers. But eventually, he is forced to lean on his ex-wife Karina, whose aspirations of becoming a jazz pianist were sacrificed so that Richard's career could thrive. Karina reluctantly brings Richard back to the home they once shared and becomes his full-time caregiver as he loses the use of his legs and voice. Genova expertly details the devastation ALS wreaks on Richard, and though her latest is a sometimes difficult read, she finds hope in the opportunities Richard has to repair his relationships with his daughter and brothers before it's too late. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A multifaceted promotion effort backed by a hefty print run will drum up major interest. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

Genova's (Still Alice; Inside the O'Briens) latest book chronicles the sad demise of a concert pianist who is stricken with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Through memories and flashbacks, the novel details the tumultuous relationship of selfish musician Richard Evans and ex-wife Karina, who reconnects with him as his illness progresses. Like Jodi Picoult, Genova has found a literary niche featuring a protagonist dealing with unbearable illness. The structure of her stories can be formulaic, but Genova is sensitive in how she conveys the way an illness can shape and change family relationships. At times, her prose is marred by trite clichés and unnecessary explanations—the author is at her best when she trusts that her readers will understand what she is trying to express. She is honest and unflinching when it comes to the details of a disease, but when her characters aren't particularly likable, it's hard to care about what happens to them. VERDICT A disappointment for Genova's fans as her promising premise falls short in its execution.—Mariel Pachucki, Maple Valley, WA

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

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