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April 9, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D by Nichole BernierThe Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D
by Nichole Bernier
Narrated by: Angela Brazil

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: AudioGO
Publish Date: July, 2012
Format: Audio, 10 hours | 15 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate
Rating: 4 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Summer vacation on Great Rock Island was supposed to be a restorative time for Kate, who’d lost her close friend Elizabeth in a sudden accident. But when she inherits a trunk of Elizabeth’s journals, they reveal a woman far different from the cheerful wife and mother Kate thought she knew.

My Thoughts:

After Kate’s friend Elizabeth died suddenly in a plane crash, she learned that her friend had made a surprising request. Elizabeth had added a specific bequest to her will stating that Kate was to receive all her journals because she was fair and sensitive and would know what to do with them, and that they be read in order, from the beginning. Why leave them to Kate and not her husband? Kate had no choice but to read them and find out.

The journals date back to Elizabeth’s high school days. As Kate begins to read she realizes there were so many things about Elizabeth that she never knew: The secrets Elizabeth held close, the painful reasons and the realization why she acted the way she did. And the biggest question, how much do we really know about the people close to us?

As the details of Elizabeth’s life are being revealed, we also see that this is a story about Kate. While she reads the journals she reflects on her own life, her family, friends, career, and the choices she has made. She can’t help imagine herself as the one who died, what would happen to her husband, her children? The story is set in 2001 and the fears sparked by the then recent terrorist attacks are evident in her worries.

I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed Angela Brazil’s expressive narration. The production was easy to listen to and only required a little extra awareness of the dates when the story would switch between the present and the various journal entries. This was my first experience with Brazil’s narration and I found it very listenable and wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another of her audiobooks.

Overall, the book was beautifully written, thought-provoking and had a satisfying, although bittersweet ending. It’s the kind of story that will resonate mainly with women, not that men won’t find it interesting and insightful, but the focus is on topics that more often keep women awake and worrying late into the night.

Source: Review copy.
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Leave a Comment
  1. Mary / Apr 9 2013 11:54 am

    I read a print review copy a while ago and enjoyed it. I agree it would resonate more with women.


  2. Suko / Apr 9 2013 3:32 pm

    As you note, this sounds like a book women could relate to more than men. Excellent review, Leslie.


  3. BermudaOnion / Apr 9 2013 3:45 pm

    This does sound good. I think I might do better with a print copy, though, because of the dates.


    • Leslie / Apr 9 2013 3:59 pm

      I probably should have mentioned this… I also have an advance print copy and the font switches to italics when Kate reads the journal entries. Makes it much easier to remind the brain that we’ve switched to Elizabeth’s voice. Once I got into the flow I was alert for the dates and the audio is very good but more visual readers will probably enjoy the print version better.


  4. irene / Apr 9 2013 6:25 pm

    I think I need print in this one too, sounds good.


  5. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Apr 9 2013 7:54 pm

    I think I’d enjoy this as well. Nice review.


  6. Mystica / Apr 9 2013 10:50 pm

    I liked this as well.


  7. stacybuckeye / Apr 12 2013 11:53 pm

    This is already on my wishlist 🙂


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