Review: The Unfinished Journals of Elizabeth D

The Unfinished Journals of Elizabeth D
The Unfinished Journals of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is not a genre that I’m totally comfortable in reading however the premise sounds intriguing and what’s more fun, it was a read along. Surprisingly, I kinda enjoyed the reading, well, mostly anyway. I liked the atmosphere of the book as I found that reading it actually relaxes me. Something about the pace and probably, being set in an island (beach setting), induces further relaxation. I just adore the beach!

I only said I kinda enjoyed the reading because I felt pressure right near the beginning by the uncertainty of Kate’s relationship with her husband that I. Just. Had. To. Peek. At. The. Ending. I HAD TO! I just couldn’t help myself and it’s not often that this happened. In any case, I tried not to read too much into it, just enough to relief that pressured feeling ;p

It’s very interesting that Kate seems like she really did not know Elizabeth at all; that all of Elizabeth was poured into her journals to be discovered by Kate. Indeed, which one of us feels comfortable in opening ourselves to others, all our uncensored thoughts?

“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.”

Kate herself didn’t feel quite right. She has lost confidence in the world and therefore, lost her confidence in it. She scours the news for tragedies and imagines it to ‘can happen’ to her & her family any time of the day. It was starting to push her beyond her limits and she is not sure how to deal with it. Thing is, she’s not the only one who has ever thought about this kind of things – Elizabeth did too:

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?

It was starting to really affect her relationship with her husband, Chris. Although, Chris himself, has his own secrets or so it seems…

I have to accept that I have no more idea of what happens in the solitary parts of his mind than he has of mine, and wonder if all couples are like this. In love and simpatico in many ways, but ultimately unknowing and unknowable.

When I actually reached the ending, whilst it was an acceptable ending, I still felt a little un-fulfilled. It was just too silent for me… I wouldn’t call this a ‘fun’ read but it was certainly an enjoyable one.

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2 thoughts on “Review: The Unfinished Journals of Elizabeth D

    1. Tien Post author

      It is beautiful, Christine. The concept is also intriguing, isn’t it? What would you do if your friend left you her journals?


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