On Ethan and Anna's wedding day, they assumed they'd live "happily ever after"---so when Ethan promised to write Anna a special song, he thought there'd be plenty of time. Now, a lifetime later, he sits by her hospital bed paralyzed by regret. Is it too late to fulfill his promise?
In this brand-new novel from bestselling author Kevin Milne, readers will be inspired yet again by the themes of love, loss, and renewal. Ethan met and fell in love with Anna while studying music abroad in college. He married her, and fully expected to grow old with her. After all, they were young, life was good, and faith in each other came easily, as evidenced by the Love Notes Anna periodically left between the strings of his guitar.
On their wedding day, Ethan promised to love, honor, and cherish his wife...and to write a song for her. Fast forward to the present day. Despite his grand promises, reality has proven to be much harder than he anticipated. Instead of composing hit songs, he's working long hours to provide for his family, and still promising to finish Anna's song. His formerly hopeful spirit is almost too heavy to carry, weighed down as it is by regret.
His grandfather, a veteran of World War II, knows a thing or two about regret and bitterness, and has his own stories to tell. One in particular, has the potential to change Ethan's attitude and help him put the past to rest, if he can open his heart to the truth of it.
Can an old soldier's tales of war help Ethan relinquish his anger? Is it too late to finish the song he began for Anna on their wedding day? Will he be able to remember why he fell in love so many years ago? In this tale of loss and heartbreak, love and forgiveness, Ethan is about to discover that the final note has yet to be written.
Kevin Alan Milne is the author of The Paper Bag Christmas, The Nine Lessons, and Sweet Misfortune. He earned an MBA at Pennsylvania State University. Born in Portland, Oregon, Milne grew up in the nearby quiet country town of Sherwood, Oregon, where he currently resides with his wife and five children.
Veteran tearjerker Milne (The Paper Bag Christmas) packs this contemporary romance brim-full of melodrama. Classical guitarist Ethan meets artist Anna in Vienna, where both are poor graduate students. "I didn't know a lot about art," Ethan declares, "but I dare say that she was a Da Vinci compared to the rest of the Etch-a-sketch women I'd ever known." Reuniting in the States, they marry and fund their growing family through corporate work that takes them far from the arts. Their relationship slowly crumbles under the stress of more obstacles than could realistically fit into one lifetime. Bad luck proves to be a family trait when Ethan's grandfather reveals the history of his guitar, Karl, to teach Ethan about the power of forgiveness. Despite the acute overuse of metaphor, trite advice, cheesy song lyrics, and surplus angst, Ethan and Anna's tale is oddly compelling. (May) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
"Fans of Nicholas Sparks will enjoy this uplifting novel about second chances, circumstance, coincidence, and, of course, happiness."Booklist, on Sweet Misfortune
"With all the awkward intensity of first love, Milne's latest (after Sweet Misfortune, 2010) ushers along its characters with flourishes worthy of a sweet yet haunting song. Ethan and Anna meet in romantic Vienna while young and idealistic. Committed to the idea of being together forever, they plunge into matrimony and real life with a starry-eyed love. Yet as Ethan's songwriting career steadily rises, they find their marriage suffering from internal pressures that begin to appear insurmountable. Life deals them some hard blows, as well, which fosters even more doubt that the potential of forever in a marriage actually exists. Just as Ethan seriously questions his continuing connection with his wife, a horrific accident thrusts everything into a closely examined background as Anna lingers in a coma. A wise, life-scarred grandfather, relatives who serve to highlight Ethan's own feelings of inadequacy, and a precocious child round out the cast. Stirring and dramatic, Milne's work echoes that of Nicholas Sparks in its focus on love, commitment, faith, and the ultimate heartbreak of being human." Julie Trevelyan, Booklist
Kevin Alan Milne's THE FINAL NOTE is a beautiful soliloquy on the power of love. The opening Prelude forcefully grabs you--you find yourself immersed in Ethan's rage against the perpetrator of his wife's catastrophic outcome.
Milne separates his book into segments entitled; First Verse: Solo, Allegretto Scherzando; Second Verse: Duet, Adagio Dolcissimo; Third Verse: Trio, Accelerando Staccato; Interlude; Fourth Verse: Solo, Lente Grave; and Postlude. Ethan's life breathes music, his passion is conveyed with every note he composes in his younger days and as he grows older, music has slowly diminished into the background. I listen to the entitled pieces that evoked the emotional turmoil suffered by Ethan, and I felt wrapped up in his anguish. THE FINAL NOTE moved me continually for the wealth of hardship suffered and for the infinity of faith. There were times where I did rage against the injustice of Ethan's life only to be reminded that there are greater things beyond our understanding. That life is about forgiveness where the power of faith and friends will only strengthen us in our most dire moments of life.
Aisle B, Review
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