“This, I remember thinking, is what life is really about. Love and laughter and friendship; happy times spent with those you care about.”
When reading the novel of Nicholas Sparks, I always need to prepare myself emotionally for cataclysm of emotions that usually come with his works. The thought that he makes me fall so much in love with a character that he’s just plotting to kill is disturbing not to mention heart-breaking. But, more often that not, that is the case.
Surprisingly, this novel is less formulaic and predictable which is a bit dissimilar from his style- an emotional powerful story not of falling in love but falling apart. Every story usually starts with two people falling in love and the ending is a happily ever after. Clearly, Sparks decided to experiment.
The characters are not subtle, enigmatic or complex. But, Sparks still managed to make them interesting. The protagonist, Russel Green lives in his comfort zone with his beautiful wife and a daughter. Seemingly, he enjoys a successful career, and an almost lavish lifestyle. As a character, there is this gnawing feeling of his inability to explicate himself and yet that’s what made him excelled in his career. His wife, Vivian, would give you a glimpse of every person who makes each relationship fails. Among all the characters, it is with Emily that I hardly feel connected.
When you are blissfully living in your safe haven then suddenly lost everything, the pain is incomprehensible. This part of the story and some vignettes probably moved me the most. Some situations seem palpably unfair and yet could happen in real life.
The whole reading time was heavy. Just when you thought Russel lost everything, then he lost more; it would leave you aching for the character.
I highly recommend this for the Sparks fanatics but expect to feel dispirited the whole time you’re reading. There are many faces of love and one of them is sadness.