Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Review: An Unfinished Score by Elise Blackwell

An Unfinished Score by Elise Blackwell
Pub. Date: April 2010
Publisher: Unbridled Books
256pp

A paradox of sorts, An Unfinished Score tells the story of Suzanne Sullivan, a musician, a wife, and an adulteress. While preparing dinner for her husband and their extended family, Suzanne hears on the radio that her lover, Alex Elling, has died in the crash of a jetliner. Suzanne must mourn in secret while continuing her life as a concert violist and a wife. She continues to silently grieve through rehearsals, performances, and everyday life as the wife of a composer who distances himself from emotion, mother to her best friend, Petra’s daughter Adele, and counselor to Petra herself. After a series of mysterious phone calls Suzanne meets Olivia, Alex’s widow. Olivia compels Suzanne to finish a Viola Concerto that Alex was composing before his death. Struggling to complete the score of the concerto Suzanne relives memories of her separate life with Alex and the emotions that the concerto invokes.

Suzanne is the other woman, someone who we despise in theory, but cannot help but empathize with throughout this story. She is flawed and realistic. Olivia is the scorned wife, a woman whose pain we understand but whose actions create a conflict that seems cruel. Suzanne, Olivia, Ben, Petra, and Adele are subject to the errors of humanity. An Unfinished Score is perfectly orchestrated to bring about empathy and understanding in unexpected places. It is the story of life: love, loss, betrayal, and redemption. An Unfinished Score provides a plethora of discussion points and is meant to be shared. This is a great book for group discussion. I highly recommend An Unfinished Score.

(I have to tell you that I wanted to not like this book being married and all that. Despite my personal feelings about adultery I found that I could empathize with Suzanne. This one will be in my permanent library and reread in the future. Check it out! It just might surprise you.)

2 comments:

Mary said...

Nice review, adding it to my list!

Aths said...

Nice review! Glad you liked it!!