Monday, May 21, 2012

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. -Nichole Bernier

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.

Nichole Bernier

Crown, Jun 5 2012, $24.00

ISBN: 9780307887801

For five years Kate Spencer and Elizabeth Martin were best friends as card carrying members of the mommy brigade. They shared family picnics and other events especially involving their children although at times they escaped parenting and husbands together. The tragic death of Elizabeth in a plane crash ends their sisterhood.

The late Elizabeth shocks everyone especially her husband Dave and her BFF Kate when she bequests her diaries to the latter and not her spouse. Dave tells Kate that his wife was flying to meet her lover Michael. Stunned by his accusation about his late wife, Kate begins to read what her buddy wrote, but she is overwhelmed to find a different person than the one she knew. Instead of the nurturing mother, wife and friend; there lurked an artist begging to come out of the shadows. However, what shakes Kate the most is Elizabeth’s unmasked opinions of her at a time when her relationship with her husband Chris is shaky.

This is a superb character study that reads like a mystery as Kate begins to learn the full complex Elizabeth and what at times her BFF thought of her. The storyline focuses on how people wear masks to hide desires and hurts; little innocent nothings in one person’s mind can fester into major pain in the other person’s mind as relationships are complex and convoluted. Encouraged to let your inner self flow free and not worry about the opinions of others, readers will appreciate this discerning look at unmasking the real you and me outside of our societal roles.

Harriet Klausner

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