A special thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada, and Gallery/Scout Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This stunning, raw, heartbreaking glimpse into the world of ALS from Lisa Genova will leave you emotionally spent and in awe of those living with this cruel disease, and in awe of their loved ones and the real-life superheroes that are their caregivers.
Richard is a renowned pianist that sells out concerts all over the world, a fine-tuned instrument that executes his performances with precision and passion. Fast forward eight months—Richard has been diagnosed with ALS and no longer has the use of his right arm. The loss of his hand is like the loss of a true love, like his own divorce from Karina. It is only a matter of time before it is his left hand, and the rest of his body.
Karina hasn't moved on from her divorce from Richard, in fact she is stuck in limbo in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher. It is easy for her to blame Richard for where she has ended up and for the dissolution of the marriage.
When the disease progresses to the point that Richard is fully paralyzed, Karina reluctantly steps in to care for him. He moves back in with Karina, in the home that they once shared with their daughter, Grace, who is away at university. As Richard becomes a shell of a man he once was, the couple is forced to face their regrets head on and learn what it means to forgive.
What I love about Genova's books is her ability to educate her reader, not only in matters of the heart and relationships, but about actual neurological diseases and conditions that most would not be familiar with unless they were affected personally. She doesn't "dumb-it-down", instead she elevates her reader and empowers them with knowledge. It is this knowledge that makes her stories rich, not only in information, but in character development, yet doesn't bog down the narrative. Her writing is poignant, sharp, and captivating. Lisa, congratulations on this book, and your continued success—it is always a pleasure to read and review your work.