Read Along Pt 3: The Unfinished Journals of Elizabeth D

The Unfinished Journals of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier

I am participating in a read along hosted by Bree @1 Girl 2 Many Books & sponsored by Australia’s own Allen & Unwin.

This week we read the last third of the book so beware of spoilers…

**spoilers alert**

I mentioned in week 1 that I took a little peek at the ending so whilst I wasn’t totally un-prepared for it, I was still slightly disappointed that it wasn’t more conclusive.  There were implications that things are or will be on the mend between Kate & Chris but that’s all we’re left with.  So, whilst it was an acceptable ending to a novel, it wasn’t quite fulfilling (for my heart).

I was feeling Kate’s outrage at being cheated with the last journal being ‘stolen’ from her.  Kate suspected Dave took it and was very angry at him.  I was actually put off by her anger at him. I supposed I’m just a passenger in this story so I didn’t have Kate’s drive / obsession in Elizabeth’s journals.  I actually am on Chris’ side as I just don’t get her obsession.  I think we learnt earlier on that Chris is just a totally laid back guy who doesn’t particularly question / confront everything that doesn’t make sense to him (ie. he just lets things go).

Whilst I’m still questioning as to the reason Elizabeth left her journals to Kate, I understand that telling her journals everything is her only way to express & relieve herself of her burden.  As Max puts it,

“It’s not a matter of loving writing.  It’s something I need to do.  It helps me vent and figure things out.  I don’t have to think about anyone else’s feelings or judgements.  It’s the one place I really get to have my say.”

Elizabeth’s action in hiding her illness from everybody is understandable, of course, especially noting her earlier experience with Dave.  Dave may have been disappointed that she didn’t trust him after all these years but really not many people would were they in Elizabeth’s shoe.  She may have learnt to open herself later on but as we see here, time did not permit.

I’m glad though that Kate, at least, learnt something for herself which hopefully will assist in working out her marriage to Chris…

How many things in life are like this, near misses?  Every day consists of these tiny choices with 57,000 trickle-down effects.  You catch a different subway and brush against a stranger with meningitis, or make eye contact with someone you fall in love with, or buy a lotto ticket in this bodega instead of that one and totally cast in, or miss the train that ends up derailing.  Everything is so fucking arbitrary.  Every move you make and a million ones you don’t all have ramifications that mean life or death or love or bankruptcy or whatever.  It could paralyze you if you let it.  But you have to live your life.  What’s the alternative?

I, for one, have made it a point not to part with my family with words of anger (even before we sleep at night cuz who knows what can happen whilst we sleep, right?)

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