Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Notebook

The NotebookThe Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I've tried to read this book several times in the past, never getting past the first few pages. This book came up as the selection for Book Club and I promised, promised, her I would read the whole book. So I did it. Thank goodness it was a short read.

I don't care for Nicholas Sparks's writing. Too much tell and no show, to much introspection, too much detail of thought and movement (although not as bad as Ted Dekker) and flat-out too much melodrama.

This book starts out as a boring story - there is no dialogue for the first thirty pages. THIRTY. 3-0. And never ramps up to a climax. It's obvious from the start how the story ends. So finally, reaching page 30 and getting into some dialogue... it's fake, forced and clumsy.

A redeeming quality of the book: if you like heavy melodramatic star-crossed soul mate love stories, this is it. There are a few passages where Sparks shines with a little bit of talent, when he gave me an emotional thought that was real and I could hang onto.

Synopsis: 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 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 fundamental changes that affect us all.

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