Michelle's Reviews > The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier
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's review
Jun 10, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: 2012, contemporary-fiction, family-drama
Read from June 05 to 10, 2012

2.5 stars. The setup to this book was kind of confusing. It’s pitched as happening in the still raw and emotional summer after 9/11. We know right away that Kate’s best friend Elizabeth died almost a year ago. And the opening pages have Kate and her husband driving into Manhattan and looking at the empty space where the Twin Towers once stood. Then there is some mention of Elizabeth dying in a plane crash and 9/11 and how sad it all is. Then suddenly they talk about how she died a week or so before 9/11, also in a plane crash in NYC. Um, what? What is the point of that? Why not have the character on one of the planes if you’re going to milk the 9/11 thing? This shouldn’t have mattered because it’s about the people and not the crash but still, this really bothered me for some reason.

This book was a bit slow and I’m not sure shy. The writing is fine and there are some very poignant truths about motherhood, marriage, and friendship, the most salient of these that everyone (friends, spouse, even children) is ultimately unknowable. So true. However, in the end, I never fully connected to the characters or bought the Kate/Elizabeth friendship. Also the “twist”/conclusion was pretty obvious from the get-go. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be a twist. I can see why people might really enjoy this semi-epistolary novel but somehow I wasn’t into it.
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Jami I was interested to see your review. I also found it a bit slow in spots, although I liked i. I also never warmed up to the characters, so I get where you are coming from.

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