Sunday, February 14, 2010

An Unfinished Score-Elise Blackwell

An Unfinished Score
Elise Blackwell
Unbridled, Apr 6 2010, $24.95
ISBN: 9781936071661

As she prepares dinner for her husband Ben, their deaf daughter Adele and best friend Petra, concert violist Suzanne Sullivan hears of her lover’s death over the radio. She conceals her grief over the death of her beloved orchestra conductor Alex Elling. She avoids a meltdown due to their shared love of music, which gets her through the meal, his funeral and the next few weeks.

A couple weeks after Alex is buried, his widow Olivia begins calling Suzanne leaving messages hinting at exposing her. Olivia demands Suzanne complete her late spouse’s final score or else face ridicule and worse when she is revealed to her family and the orchestra as a cheating spouse. Unable to mourn in public, Suzanne detests the extortion but also wants closure by honoring her beloved so she decides to complete An Unfinished Score that Alex was composing in honor of his cherished lover.

Although overwrought with too much angst, An Unfinished Score is an enjoyable character driven tale. The two female rivals (over who “owns” Alex’s memory) dominate the stage in spite of seemingly the entire Chicago and St. Luis orchestras and her quartet performing. The audience will enjoy this fine tale of grieving in silence.

Harriet Klausner

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