Published by Bantam on July 5th 2004
Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah 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.
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. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever.
Nicholas Sparks is a very formulaic author. He designs two star-crossed lovers living on opposite sides of the tracks and despite all odds come together. Even if I had not seen the movie before hand I could have seen where the story was going.
Although, being predictable was not my biggest complaint with The Notebook. Like Gone with the Wind glamorize rape I felt Nicholas Sparks tried to justify infidelity because they were meant to be. It was not okay for John and Yoko, John and Jane Doe and certainly not for Noah and Allie. Romanizing the relationship does not change the situation and irked me to no end.
Therefore, I had a hard time buying into Noah and Allie’s love story. Not only that, but like Landon and Jamie, I found the novel’s couple insipid and at times found their driveling desire hard to handle.
Overall, this was not the “great love story” the Nicholas Sparks was trying to sell. Instead, I would have preferred the eye-candy that is Ryan Gosling. Next time I will reach for the remote instead of a bookmark.
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