Format: Available for Ebook Paperback, and Hard Cover
Series: tand Alone
Rated: 14+ (Some sexual situations and some language)
The latest book from Nicholas Sparks tells the story of two couples who are intertwined together. The first couple is an elderly man named Ira and his late wife Ruth. The second couple is a college senior Sophia and a professional bull-rider Luke.
The story begins with Ira in his car after crashing it into a tree during a snowny night. As he’s coming in and out of consciousness, he sees his wife, Ruth, whose ghost begins talking to him, urging him to stay alive. They start reminiscing about their lives together, laughing at the good times and feeling guilt about the bad ones.
We read about how Ira and Ruth meet when teenagers and how they struggled to keep their relationship going after he got hurt in World War II. We learn about how they got married and started collected art pieces that would help them lead a wealthy life.
In between their story, we read about Sophia’s and Luke’s, which starts four months before Ira’s accident. Sophia is a college senior at Wake College majoring in art history. She had just broken up with her boyfriend, Brian, after he cheated on her for the 3rd time. She meets Luke after going to a rodeo with her friends. They start talking which eventually leads them to falling in love with one another.
We learn that Sophia is from New Jersey and is close with her family, but likes being on her own. Luke lives with his mom and helps her around the ranch and harbors a dark secret that circles around his bull-riding.
As the story progresses, you learn bits and pieces about each character, trying to figure out how these couples are intertwined with one another. On the surface, there is nothing linking the two, but once the stories combine, you see how important one couple is to the other.
This story is a bit different then Sparks’s other novels for the fact that it essentially has two loves stories wrapped up in one. Also, he includes characters that have different cultures then the ones that he usually has. Ruth is from Austria, Sophia’s family is from Slavakia, and Ira is Jewish. These cultures are incorporated into creating the characters and it really adds a different element to the story.
With all the differences, there were some common elements that you’ve come to expect in a Nicholas Sparks book. There are sweet and tender moments for both couples. He does a good job at developing the characters and didn’t fall back on any one thing, despite have four main characters, rather than two.
Overall, I thought the book was a nice, sweet, read. The book is certainly not one of those tear-jerkers that he could do, but it is a nice read all the same. Comparing it to his other books, it’s more like Nights in Rodanthe in terms of drama. There’s a little bit, but nothing that would keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more. It is a nice, beach read and certainly a nice addition to his other books.
Recommendations: Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts books