When we become wives and mothers, it seems like many of us transform into a whole new person. The woman we used to be is caught only in glimpses and shadows throughout our days. We have new worries, new struggles, and new priorities, and sometimes it's amazing to look back and see just how much we've changed over the years.
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by debut novelist Nichole Bernier explores the struggles many women face when they become mothers. It is written both as Elizabeth's journal entries and her friend, Kate's reaction to them and to the world around her during the aftermath surrounding 9/11.
Elizabeth Martin dies suddenly in a plane crash and leaves her close friend in charge of her journals, with a letter telling her she'll know what to do with them. This causes great distress for Elizabeth's widow, Dave, who questions his wife's real motives for taking the trip. Kate spends the summer reading the diaries and realizes there is so much she never knew about Elizabeth.
The book makes readers question just how much they allow others to know about them and how well they know their friends. It explores the impact of secrets in relationships, the guilt associated with leaving children for work, and the sacrifices sometimes made to protect those we love.
There are many moments in the book that might lead you to tears, it is beautifully written and captivating. The characters are developed well and reading the journals alongside Kate made me want to know more and more about Elizabeth's life.
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. is available for $15
A copy was provided for review. All opinions are my own.