The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Nichole Bernier

79%

17 Critic Reviews

It’s a very touching novel that will have you questioning just how well you know your very closest friends, and reflecting on your own life and dreams that perhaps you gave up in pursuit of a different path.
-Literally Jen

Synopsis

Before there were blogs, there were journals. And in them we’d write as we really were, not as we wanted to appear. But there comes a day when journals outlive us. And with them, our secrets.
 
   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 than the cheerful wife and mother Kate thought she knew. 
   The complicated portrait of Elizabeth—her troubled upbringing, and her route to marriage and motherhood—makes Kate question not just their friendship, but her own deepest beliefs about loyalty and honesty at a period of uncertainty in her own marriage. When an unfamiliar man’s name appears in the pages, Kate realizes the extent of what she didn’t know about her friend, including where she was really going on the day she died. 
   The more Kate reads, the more she learns the complicated truth of who Elizabeth really was, and rethinks her own choices as a wife, mother, and professional, and the legacy she herself would want to leave behind.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content

 

About Nichole Bernier

See more books from this Author
NICHOLE BERNIER is a writer for magazines including Elle, Self, Health, Men's Journal and Boston Magazine, and a 14-year contributing editor with Conde Nast Traveler, where she was previously on staff as the golf and ski editor and a columnist. She is a founder of the literary website BeyondTheMargins.com, and lives outside of Boston with her husband and five children.
 
Published June 5, 2012 by Broadway Books. 338 pages
Genres: Other, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.
All: 17 | Positive: 15 | Negative: 2

Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on Jun 15 2012

The journals contain plenty of secrets --- sad, compelling, even juicy --- to ensure that readers keep turning the pages. Bernier’s style is lighter than her subject matter, making reading effortless.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Nancy Robertson on Jun 12 2012

Bernier’s excellent storytelling skills will keep you pondering long after the final page.

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The Boston Globe

Excellent
Reviewed by Liz Raftery on Jun 22 2012

...he narrative breezes along, and while Bernier weaves in thought-provoking observations on marriage, friendship, and working mothers, she does so within a story line that never drags.

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Huntington News

Excellent
Reviewed by David Kinchen on Jun 12 2012

Friendship doesn't always mean sharing secrets. We all have parts of our lives that we keep hidden.

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Nashville Public Library

Excellent
Reviewed by Crystal on Oct 02 2012

A collection of journals and what they reveal about their departed composer make Nichole Bernier’s debut novel a bittersweet reflection on the delicate balance between motherhood, career, marriage, and friendship.

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S. Krishna's Books

Good
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Jun 06 2012

It’s a contemplative novel that will leave readers pondering long after it’s over, which is why it would make a great book club pick.

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Devourer of Books

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Jun 04 2012

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. is a beautiful and well-plotted debut novel. Bernier weaves Kate’s story together with Elizabeth’s journals flawlessly...

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Beth Fish Reads

Good
Reviewed by Beth Fish on Sep 17 2012

Nichole Bernier's debut novel will resonate with women of all ages.

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Take Me Away

Below average
Reviewed by Jenny on Jun 21 2012

...but I have to say that I wasn't as taken by this book as others. One of the main reasons is that I didn't feel I could relate to it.

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Literally Jen

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Jun 01 2012

It’s a very touching novel that will have you questioning just how well you know your very closest friends, and reflecting on your own life and dreams that perhaps you gave up in pursuit of a different path.

Read Full Review of The Unfinished Work of Elizab...

The Worm Hole

Below average
Reviewed by Charlie on Aug 06 2012

The messages and lessons are solid, but the execution could have been better.

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You've GOTTA read this!

Good
Reviewed by Sandy Nawrot on Nov 01 2012

It is a deep and touching read that you won't ever forget.

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sheridegrom

Good
Reviewed by sheridegrom on Aug 27 2012

This book, while having romance, is a work of substance. It borders heavily on the side of literary, yet is easily readable. It’s also a mystery—there’s something for everyone. This book consumed me.

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The Literary Kitty Blog

Good
Reviewed by Literary Kitty on Jul 17 2012

The characters were authentic and sensitively drawn, the writing was elegant and emotive and the story was a real page-turner.

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Writing On Board.

Good
Reviewed by Normandie on Sep 14 2012

But this one is worth the time to read and to critique. This author has crafted hard-to-love characters who have crept in and found their place as friends.

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The Story Girl

Good
Reviewed by Llorren Richelle on Sep 07 2012

I thought The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. was beautiful and absolutely relevant to women in the America of today.

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BrodartVibe

Good
Reviewed by Brittany on May 11 2012

She writes with such expertise and passion, I couldn’t believe she hadn’t been published before!

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Reader Rating for The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 201 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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