A diagnosis of motor neurone disease is never welcome, but for concert pianist Richard Evans it is particularly devastating, as his hands are affected first. A life not being able to play music is hard to accept but as his illness progresses, there are other important emotional contemplations ahead to occupy his time, namely Karina his ex-wife and now reluctant caregiver, and his estranged daughter Grace.
From its appreciation of the significance of music to its realistic portrayal of an incurable disease, this is a riveting and compassionate story of finding peace in the midst of the tumult. [Larger font]
We all enjoyed the book; it was well-written and engaging for a subject we expected to be horribly morbid. It generated great discussion about communication, and we were split on whether Karina was wallowing in her own self pity or whether she was truly a victim of a toxic relationship. Either way, we decided it was the guilt that she harboured that motivated her to look after her dying husband.
A good read, but not what you could call 'enjoyable'! Very graphic about the awful disease that is ALS. Loved the musical side though.
This book was generally much enjoyed. Descriptions ranged from - "absolutely unputdownable", to "a book about the progress of a disease with some characters thrown in". People agreed that it was very well-written, and the characters and their thoughts and conversations were very believable and realistic.
Most of us approached this book with trepidation as the subject matter seemed so depressing, but all thought the author handled the subject well. It was as much a story about relationships under strain and families resolving long-held grievances as it was about a the disease. Some thought there was a bit too much information about motor neurone disease, but that it still did not detract from their enjoyment of the book.
Two members found this book too depressing and gave it a low score. The other 10 of us thought the writing was amazing. We became each character portrayed as we read. Superb writing.
Well researched and well written.
Not a novel you could say you enjoyed, but a must read!!
Interesting insight into the progression of MND.
Quite a hard read, not everyone 'enjoyed' reading it due to how confronting the illness and care of someone with such a debilitating illness is, it was quite realistic. We thought the portrayal of the relationships were well done too. Generally we thought it was well-written and some of us really loved it.
Best book read this year was the consensus. Well-written, very moving and lent itself to a robust discussion on ALS; or the estrangement and atonement.
Our group really enjoyed this book. While it was a difficult topic, it was well researched and very well-written. The broken relationships amongst the main characters slowly unravelled to make it a very satisfying read.
Most thought it was a deeply moving account of someone dying of Motor Neurone Disease. Well constructed storyline. Some found it too upsetting to finish.
Excellent portrayal of ALS disease progression. Some of the group felt it was a little formulaic.
A very confronting book. Some of us had experience of MND through friends and family members. While very harrowing, we all agreed that it was important to be informed about this condition. Good depiction of their relationship.
No meeting was held this month, but feedback generally indicated that the saga was educational and a worthy read.
We all, except one, really enjoyed this book. We all agreed it was terribly sad, but it was a good well written story and easy to read. Only one lady had had any involvement with anyone with this disease so we all found it interesting to learn about something new. The lady who didn't like it, just wanted to read something positive and happy in the current lockdown time.
Well-written, easy to visualise, 'feel' the characters, and share their emotions. A very readable book and one that we all found we were able to relate to. Would definitely recommend.