Thoughts written in a journal, only to be opened after her death. What secrets will they reveal?
Kate's friend, Elizabeth, was the perfect mom, wonderful wife, and reliable friend. When Elizabeth died suddenly in a plane crash, her friends and family are left in a wake of sadness. Along with their grief, there was doubt. Where was she really going? Who was she going with? What secrets did Elizabeth have?
A line item in Elizabeth's will stated that Kate was to have a locked trunk filled with her journals. Elizabeth asked Kate to read them, and decide what to do with them. As difficult as it was for Kate not to run straight to the most recently written journals to find out what Elizabeth was doing on the plane, she followed the only instructions Elizabeth left: start from the beginning.
One can write all their thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears, and secrets in a journal without ever feeling judged. Elizabeth D. had kept a journal her whole life. She was able to release her anger, frustration, hurt and fear she felt on the inside, without risking the facade she created on the outside. She poured her heart out into the pages of her journal. Now that she's gone, and her journals have been left in the hands of her closest friend, Kate, will she change in the eyes of the people that knew her? Are any of us as honest as we should be with our family and friends?
I have to be honest. At first I wanted this to be an epistolary novel. I wanted to know what Elizabeth wrote in her journals more than anything! I wanted to read about what this woman wrote openly and honestly about friendship, motherhood, career, marriage, and her own mother. But then, I saw the effect it had on the people she left behind. As much as I wanted to know Elizabeth's Big Secret, I came to know and feel for the characters that were trying to find a footing after her death.
When I read, I usually have a note card and pencil nearby to jot down quotes, facts, names, etc. While this novel was so beautifully written, and there were lines I actually read over and over again...sometimes aloud to see how they tasted on my tongue...I did not want to look away from page long enough to find my pencil. I didn't want to stop the rhythm of my reading.
Perfect summer read, I can imagine reading THE UNFINISHED WORK OF ELIZABETH D. the same way Kate read Elizabeth's journals - in a loft of a beach house, listening to the sounds of the ocean and feeling the salty breeze blowing through the tall windows.
What a beautiful novel! I am looking forward to seeing more from author, Nichole Bernier!
*Attention Book Clubs: Author Nichole Bernier is available to visit or Skype a limited number of book groups to discuss her novel. See her website for more information!
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About the Book:
NICHOLE BERNIER is a writer for magazines including Elle, SELF, Health, Men’s Journal, and Boston Magazine, and a longtime contributing editor with Condé Nast Traveler, where she was previously on staff as a columnist, golf and ski editor, and television spokesperson. She is a founder of the literary website BeyondTheMargins.com, and lives outside Boston with her husband and five children. Follow her on Twitter @nicholebernier and visit her on the web at www.NicholeBernier.com.
**Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.
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