Dec 19, 2010

Review: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Title: The Notebook
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date Published: Oct. 1st 1996
Genre: Romance
My Rating:

A man with a faded, well-worn notebook open in his lap. A woman experiencing a morning ritual she doesn't understand. Until he begins to read to her. The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever. 

Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from World War II. Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories...until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again. 

Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the future, a future that only she can shape. 

Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. Shining with a beauty that is rarely found in current literature, The Notebook establishes Nicholas Sparks as a classic storyteller with a unique insight into the only emotion that really matters. 

"I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough." 

And so begins one of the most poignant and compelling love stories you will ever read...The Notebook

As unrealistic as this book might seem, with the overflow of love just like you would read of in many fictional stories, it is based on a couple's true love story. Sparks wanted to write this book to show people that unconditional love does exist. Now if you don't believe that this is a true story then it will seem like another boy meets girl or girl meets boy, parents separate them kind of story.

Even though this story was written mostly in Noah's point of view, you get both main character's points of view which is not a usual thing to see. It is nice to know what Allie is feeling along with Noah. Both characters, Allie and Noah, are dying to have each other again and it makes you anxious and in my case, annoyed, reading the repetition of how much they love each other and nothing being done about it. At times the story seemed a little to slow for me, I don't need to know many of the things they talk about. This story has a massive amount of detail. As much as I love detail, this came to be a little too much for me.

Surprisingly the chapter I really enjoyed because I know that if I hadn't watched the movie then I would have been a lot more surprised was "An Unexpected Visitor". Getting closer to the end I did get a little teary eyed just like in all of Spark's books I've read.

This brings me to mentioning the movie because I can't help but compare them. For the first time ever I have to admit that the movie was way better. The movie seemed to take me to more places than the book did. If you watched the movie and read the book you can easily distinguish the differences. "The summer" which they spend together was only a memory in the book but the movie really brought it to life, it gave us a lot more detail on that summer. Overall I feel I connected a lot more with the movie than the book.

It is a lovely story and I can't say otherwise.

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