As much as it may surprise everyone, I haven’t read any Nicholas Sparks’ books before this one (eeek!) and so it was my first experience of his writing. I’m going to first mention what the back cover summarizes and then my take on this book. Hope you find it useful and enjoy!
The back cover:
Miles Ryan’s life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. As deputy sheriff of New Bern, North Carolina, he not only grieves for her and worries about their young son Jonah but longs to bring the unknown driver to justice. Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews, Jonah’s second-grade teacher. A young woman recovering from a difficult divorce, Sarah moved to New Bern hoping to start over. Tentatively , Miles and Sarah reach out to each other…soon they are falling in love. But what neither realizes is that they are also bound together by a shocking secret, one that will force them to reexamine everything they believe in – including their love.
My take: This book is 368 pages long and for the major part I was unmoved. Miles behaves exactly as you would expect him to in all his roles; as a father, a lover, a widower. His character is easy to relate to and to sympathize with and his recollections of Missy (his wife) do play on your heart strings. Jonah is the typical child, lost yet grounded and eager to live a happy life.
The climax, the secret is easy to guess in the first pages as all the characters are introduced and that leaves one to desire more complexity of plot. The accident involving Missy is well-orchestrated and fits neatly with the ending, which you already know of .
The love affair between Sarah and Miles follows all the others you may have read in any given novel and leaves much to be desired in terms of depth of relationships.
All in all, I found it unremarkable (I know, harsh) and very predictable, sometimes to the point of being one-dimensional. Nicholas’s narrative is interesting at best when written from Brian’s (another character) view but otherwise very plain and simple throughout the rest of the book.
You might like it:
- If you are a Nicholas Sparks’s fan.
- If you like light-reading.
- If you like even-paced books to keep up with.
- If you like family/romance novels.
You might not like it:
- If you prefer fast-paced books.
- If you like sub-plots and depth in your books.
- If you do not like family/romance novels.
Hope this was useful. Take care of yourselves.