Author: Nicholas Sparks
Rating: 10 out of 10
Summary (GoodestReads and longest summary): Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
My Thoughts: Guys...I love this novel. I love it. Also, I loved it. Did I happen to mention that I loved it? I'm sorry but I really, really did.
This novel made me feel all kinds of crazy emotions. It made me cry, laugh, and, worst of all, this novel made me smile. I mean, it really made me smile. I smiled like an idiot while I was reading this novel. I'm sure people were judging me while I read at school. Then there was the crying, urg the crying...
As much as I feel like this novel was perfect (exaggeration), I feel like we didn't learn all that much about Sophia. Looking back, I guess we did but compared to what we learned about Luke, it was nothing. We learned so much more about Luke. We were told what drove him, why he made choices, what he cared about. In this way, it was almost as if he was more of a main character. It was told from three(ish) perspectives. It was complicated though because Ira's point of view was told first person but Sophia's and Luke's parts were both told third person. It's didn't really bother me; I only noticed in passing.
Also...I'm in love with Luke but he could be really stupid sometimes. I don't understand why he would be so crazy. Didn't he realize that he was hurting his mom more than anything else would have? urg! Boys are so stupid!
Ira and Ruth were like the couple from Up. Cry some more there.
I loved how it all came together in the end. I sort of figured out what was going to happen in the end before it came but I still really enjoyed it when the time came. I was impressed with the planning that must have gone into making this novel. I mean, I'm sure it didn't require more planning than any other novel I've read but, while reading it, it felt like it did. It all tied together perfectly and amazingly and I was so pleased with it all.
This novel was a quick, easy, interesting read. I didn't put it down until I was finished. I already have plans to read it again.
This is definitely one of my favourite novels and, for certain, it is my favourite Nicholas Sparks novel. I think this book was interesting in both the story that was told and the way it was told.
To whom would I recommend this novel? Everyone. Read it.