The Unfinished Work Elizabeth D
I really loved Nichole Bernier's novel "The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D."
We begin the novel a year or so after 9-11 and we find out that the main character Kate, is grieving over the loss of her friend Elizabeth. With Elizabeth's unexpected death in a small plane crash and Kate feeling uneasy due to the terrorists attacks you can understand her frayed emotions and panic.
During her family's yearly trek from Washington D.C. to a beach rental she stops by to visit with her friend's widowed husband Dave. There is some tension between both of them due to the fact that we find that Elizabeth has willed Kate all of her diaries and that is the main reason that the family has stopped by to see him. While there Dave makes bitter allegations to Kate that Elizabeth was cheating on him with another man and Kate is blown away by his allegation.
As Kate and her family continue their trip you get to find out more about her and about the longings she still has sometimes to be the person she was before she married her husband and had two children. As we have Kate torn between going back to work as a pastry chef in Washington D.C. we have the story broken up by Kate reading Elizabeth's diary entries and finding out that she really never really knew Elizabeth.
I really did love all of the interwoven plots going on throughout this novel. I think probably the hardest part of the story for Kate was when she got to the entries that dealt with her and Elizabeth's friendship. It has to be hard to read what a person thought of and when they were really asking you for help you didn't realize it.
In the end I thought that Bernier's novel fully explored what it means to be true to yourself and also true to your family. How doing what you know is right for them can in the end hurt who you are inside. Also how even the best of friends keep parts of themselves hidden from each other.
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