The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier (Review & Giveaway)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Title: The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D
Author: Nichole Bernier
Pages: 305
Genre: women's fiction
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (Random House)
Pub. Date: June 5, 2012

How well do you really know your closest friends? That's the question Kate asks herself the year after her friend, Elizabeth, dies in a plane crash and she is given the task of reading through all of Elizabeth's journals. Further enticing her to do so is the fact that in one journal that was left out, her husband read that Elizabeth had been flying to California to spend time with a "Michael". Who is Michael? And what exactly was Elizabeth doing?

Upon reading the journals, however, Kate realizes there were a lot of things about Elizabeth that she didn't know, even down to the thoughts Elizabeth had about her husband, her kids, and her friends. Although she was supposed to be relaxing on vacation, Kate feels both obligated and drawn to finish reading the journals. And when she finishes the journals, she has the task of relaying to Elizabeth's husband the truth of what was going on with Elizabeth.

I've seen some pretty rave reviews for this book, but I have to say that I wasn't as taken by this book as others. One of the main reasons is that I didn't feel I could relate to it. A majority of this book is really about motherhood and the way this changes someone as well as the plans they had for themselves and how this changes after motherhood. I didn't realize this would be such a big part of the storyline, but it certainly isn't a storyline I have any interest in for my own reasons. I couldn't tell if this was something I would have enjoyed more if my circumstances were different or not. Overall, too, the feeling that nagged at me was because this starts out a year after Elizabeth's death, I wasn't able to care much about her character; so I wasn't invested in who Elizabeth was. There was some build up of her character through flash backs and through Kate's memories of situations the journals allude to, but for me it wasn't enough.

There was also a slight tie in about how the world changed after the terrorist attacks on September 11th. Elizabeth's plane crashed the summer before 9/11, so Kate reflects on the fact that Elizabeth's death was sort of forgotten or overruled. And even though they are on an extended vacation, Kate's husband has to take multiple business trips to other countries which causes Kate some anxiety.

So overall, it wasn't the book for me, but there were women's issues in this book that some mothers will certainly relate to.

The publisher sent me a second copy of this book to give away to one lucky winner! To enter just fill out the form below. I'll announce the winner on Saturday the 30th.


Mrs Q Book Addict said...

I really want to read this one.I've seen some mixed reviews, but I think I would enjoy it.

Sandra K321 said...

I just saw another review of this that was very positive, so I guess I'll have to read it myself since everyone has a different point of view.

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

This one is one I've been quite interested in for awhile. But I have definitely seen mixed reviews on it. I've heard it's not for some people. Great review! Sorry it didn't work out for you.

Jennifer said...

This is the first I have heard of this book, but I'm intrigued!

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

I'm really intrigued by this book. I think a lot of times, our private writings are where we're the most real with ourselves. It's us in our truest forms.

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

I've also seen some of those rave reviews you were mentioning. It's interesting that so much of the book is about motherhood so now I'm wondering if I might have some of the same issues you had with it. I am not a mother nor do I plan on becoming one anytime in the near future so that aspect might be difficult for me to connect with as well. I still want to read this one but now I'm not sure what to expect!

Booksnyc said...

Thanks for your honest review. I have seen some great reviews for this book so I did enter the giveaway so I could decide for myself.

A Novel Review- Laura Kay said...

I always appreciate when a reviewer lets the audience know when a book wasn't for them, and I would love to read this one! Sounds right up my ally! Thank-you!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I can see why this wasn't a book for you. I finished reading it yesterday and really liked it. But I'm married with (now grown) kids so there was a lot for me to relate to.

Post a Comment