Posts Tagged With: nicholas sparks

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis:

Seventeen year old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father…until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels–first love, love between parents and children — that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts…and heal them.

Nicholas Sparks is another author that I love ♥ I am slowly reading my way through his novels and am yet to find one I don’t like. I loved this novel. the story follows Ronnie as she is shipped off to Wilmington to spend the summer with her father – a man who she hasn’t spoken to since he left the family. She does not want to go, and sulks all the way there. And when she gets there she almost immediately finds herself in trouble. But her father surprises her and doesn’t yell at her; in fact he is extremely reasonable. This opens up doors which had been closed for a long time. This is a summer of changes and growing up for Ronnie. She patches up her relationship with her father – to have her heart broken, she changes her attitude and best of all, she falls in love.

This novel is gorgeous. Sparks explores two loves: that between parent and child, and first love. I thoroughly enjoyed this book – in fact as I think about it all I can do is gush! Many changes occur during this novel – in Jonah, Ronnie’s brother, her father, and of course, Ronnie. I liked all three of these characters, in particular Jonah. He was so cute – so excited to see his Dad and I loved how even though he was younger than Ronnie he looked out for her. I loved Will as well – handsome, caring and athletic. He was sensible, volunteered and best of all: he chose Ronnie even when his mother dismissed her.

The story was lovely, but also heartbreaking. Secrets are kept – and the main one nearly broke my heart when I found out. I had tears in my eyes a lot while the book was drawing to a close. I love a book that pulls on my emotions – and The Last Song did just that. There are many other things that remain in my mind too – I liked how it was nature, turtles to be precise, that softened Ronnie; and the image of the stain glass window that Jonah and their Dad was building was beautiful.

Sparks writes gripping novels – and this was no exception. I was hooked from the first page and I sped through this book. And I was gutted when it ended – I wanted more! I think every issue raised in this book was dealt with wonderfully – with compassion and intelligence. This is a romance novel and I guess would be classed as chick-lit, but it is a mature novel and well worth reading. Top marks from me!

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The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis:

Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, Nicholas Sparks tells the story of Travis Parker, a small-town veterinarian who’s perfectly content with the active and exciting life he leads. Since he uses his spare time bungee jumping and swimming with the dolphins, he can’t shake the belief that a woman would simply slow him down. That is, until Gabby Holland enters his life.

Gabby, Travis’s new neighbor, is in love with her boyfriend of three years, and wants nothing more than to start planning the wedding she’s always dreamed about. However, there is a story within a story and the connection between Travis and Gabby is just a beginning. As their tale unfolds, their relationship becomes something different–with much higher stakes. With echoes of THE NOTE BOOK abound, listeners everywhere will fall in love.

This is the second Nicholas Sparks book I have read, and it was what drew me to this other books, all of which I have loved. The story is set around Gabby, a new woman in the neighbourhood and her neighbour Travis. Their relationship starts badly, but Travis is patient and their relationship develops, and helps Gabby make new friends in the town. The story then jumps to the present day and their current situation, which broke my heart…

Sparks is a wonderful writer – engaging, amusing and writes realistic stories that are full of life, pain and joy. I was gripped right from the start. I loved watching Travis and Gabby’s relationship develop – from neighbours, to friends to more. The description of outings, the scenery and the fun and friendship were gorgeous. My favourite part was when they were out in Travis’s boat with his friends and their children. It was lovely to read.

I really liked both Gabby and Travis. I could relate to and empathise with both, and I felt myself willing the best for both of them. That said, my favourite character was Steph, Travis’s sister. She was forward, fun and wanted the best for everyone. She was there when Travis needed her and she came across as someone I would like to be friends with. I don’t think there was a character I didn’t like – Sparks writes people who I want to know and who I like reading about.

Yes, in true Sparks fashion there is a twist at the end. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting and it bought tears to my eyes. I liked  how Sparks played out the situation. I found my heart breaking, then relief washing over me, I almost cried at one point, and overall, felt satisfied with the read. This book really played on my emotions, it was great. Top marks and a big recommendation from me.

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The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis:

After thirty years of marriage, Wilson Lewis, son-in-law of Allie and Noah Calhoun (of The Notebook), is forced to admit that the romance has gone out of his marriage. Desperate to win back his wife, Jane’s, heart, he must figure out how to make her fall in love with him… again. Despite the shining example of Allie and Noah’s marriage, Wilson is himself a man unable to easily express his emotions. A successful estate attorney, he has provided well for his family, but now, with his daughter’s upcoming wedding, he is forced to face the fact that he and Jane have grown apart and he wonders if she even loves him anymore. Wilson is sure of one thing–his love for his wife has only deepened and intensified over the years. Now, with the memories of his in-laws’ magnificent fifty-year love affair as his guide, Wilson struggles to find his way back into the heart of the woman he adores.

As the synopsis states, this is the follow up book to The Notebook. At first, when I saw that there was a sequel, I was unsure as to how that would work (if you have read The Notebook I’m sure you will understand my questioning) but I was satisfied with this book.

The story does not follow Allie and Noah, but their son-in-law Wilson. He is hard-working , to the point where he has seemingly neglected his family. He wanted to provide them with a great life, but that meant he missed parties and sporting events, and worked very late most days. This seemed fine until he forgot his wedding anniversary. This woke him up to the fact his marriage was strained and his wife was sad. This caused him to try and change his ways – and is helped by his daughter announcing that she is getting married. This gives him an opportunity to repair his marriage.

The more Nicholas Sparks novels I read, the more I love him as an author. However, this is not my favourite of his works. I found this book started slowly, and it took a while to get going. By halfway through though, I had warmed up to Wilson and I loved all he was doing for Jane. The surprise at the end was gorgeous, and I sat there with a warmed heart and a smile on my face.

I did like Jane, and felt sorry for her and felt her pain; although I did think that if she was unhappy she should have spoken out. I took some time to warm up to Wilson but I started to like him the more I read. I thought their relationship was sweet – especially in the beginning when Wilson was shy and sensible. This might be heresy to say, but I preferred Noah in this novel than I did in The Notebook. He was wise and loving in this novel, whereas I found him a bit desperate in The Notebook.

This is a lovely romance novel. It is not a long book and worth reading if you like a heart warming, satisfying story. Nicholas Sparks is a great writer and I will be reading more of his novels.

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A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Landon Carter is a 17 year old young man living in North Carolina in the 1950s. Through a twist of fate, he finds himself becoming friends with Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the local preacher. Although Landon has known Jamie for many years, he lives in a different world to her, and has never really bothered to get to know her . However, as they spend more time together, he comes to know her, and gradually he finds himself falling in love with her. But Jamie has a big secret, which will change all of their lives when Landon discovers what it is.

On the plus side, this is an undemanding read, best suited to a lazy day curled up on the sofa. The story at its heart is sweet and somewhat old fashioned. However, reading it felt a bit like being preached to. There are a number of references and verses from the Bible throughout it, and the emphasis is very much on living in the way God teaches us to. It was also somewhat formulaic, and the big secret was pretty easy to guess from fairly early on. Not a lot of time is spent on characterisation, although this doesn’t really matter – the novel is more plot driven than character driven. Overall, not a bad read for a lazy New Years Day (which is when I read it), but I wouldn’t be rushing to read anything more by this author.

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