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

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier
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's review
Jun 29, 2012

really liked it
Read from June 24 to 25, 2012

Imagine that your best friend dies in a horrible accident and as you struggle to deal with the loss you learn that she has left her life story to you in a series of journals that she has been writing since she was a teenager. To you, not her husband. Why? Why did she want you to be the one to read through her deepest thoughts? Additionally you learn that her husband finds and reads the last journal despite her wishes and discovers that the trip she was leaving on when the plane crashed was not was she said it was. He is now angry at her and at you because she trusted you with the books and not him. Talk about being stuck in the middle of someone else's marriage.

Then as you read the journals you discover that you did not know your friend at all. And you learn more about yourself than you might want to know.

This is the type of book I usually choose not to read but something about this one called to me and I am so very glad that I did read it. I was pulled into the story from the start. The novel takes place in the months just after the 9/11 attacks and there is a sense of fear added to the overwhelming sense of loss in the book. Both families are trying adjust to the loss of Elizabeth a seemingly perfect and loving wife and mother dedicated to her husband and children but as Kate starts to read the journals she learns that so much of what she knew about Elizabeth was was only a facade and that she was a woman of many facets, the majority of which Kate knew nothing about simply because Kate never bothered to ask.

Kate also learns more about the inner workings of Elizabeth's marriage. What she learns unnerves her and turns her world upside down while causing her to reevaluate her own marriage and needs.

I found myself completely enthralled in this tale of two women and two marriages; so alike and so very different at the same time. Ms. Bernier was able to write in the two different voices so well. The realities of relationships - both good and bad - were written with true insight and raw feeling. I truly cared what happened to both families. I felt as if I was living in the same neighborhood and was part of the happenings. It's rare for me to be so enthralled for modern fiction like this.
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