14 April 2010

An Unfinished Score

Let me begin this review with thanks to Unbridled Books for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book. An Unfinished Score by Elise Blackwell is the first thing I have ever read that made me wish I had paid closer attention in freshman Music Class! Even so my lack of musical memory did nothing to diminish my enjoyment of this lyrically written and multi-layered novel.

The novel begins as viola player, Suzanne, learns that her lover, music conductor Alex, has died. The drama begins early as Suzanne hears this news over the radio while preparing dinner for her husband Ben and her best friend Petra. Although the adults in her life seem not to notice immediately that something is wrong with her, Petra's daughter Adele who was deaf from birth and loves Suzanne as she loves her mother is more attuned to the nuances of unspoken emotion. Except for Adele, music is what binds this group of people who share a home. As she moves through her grief, Suzanne remembers other losses which led her to Alex and away from her husband and friend.

For Suzanne, the loss of her lover Alex is at the core of who she will be. Even more so when Alex's widow blackmails her to complete a score Alex had begun before his death. The reader reminisces with Suzanne as she remembers her affair with Alex. We also struggle with her as she attempts to complete a score which makes little sense to her, causing her to question what she knew about her lover.
Had I not cared about the characters in the book, I would still have continued reading to experience the emotion of music that is expressed on nearly every page. Not capable of playing an instrument myself, I was mesmerized by the feelings of the composer, player, and listener.
Ultimately to me this is a novel of opposites and how they come together - the past and the future, the composer and the performer, the meaning and the interpretation. The reader is asked to consider these things as the novel comes to a startling conclusion. If I have time this summer, I plan to read the book again with my computer and headphones so I can stop and lister to each composition which is lovingly mentioned by Suzanne, Alex, Ben, Petra, and a wonderful group of supporting characters!

TITLE: An Unfinished Score
AUTHOR: Elise Blackwell
COPYRIGHT: 2009, April 2010
PAGES: 272
TYPE: fiction
RECOMMEND: Music lovers in particular will enjoy this novel, but even without such knowledge it is an enjoyable and quick read

1 comment:

Sassy Brit said...

HI! It's my first blog hop today! I'm a shiny new follower from Friday Follow/BlogHop!

Lovely to meet you :)

Please do pop by and say hello at my place!

Hope to see you there,


P.s. if you get this twice sorry! LOL I got called away and then couldn't remember if I already posted or not...must be my age. :)