Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: Drama / Romance
Year of Publication: 2016
ISBN: 1455520691 (ISBN13: 9781455520695)
The book narrates story of Russell Green, a marketing professional who is living a dream life; a wonderful job and a lovely family. Without warning, his world starts tumbling down and he ends up in a situation where he is about to lose all that he was so proud to have. The story is about relationships, their vulnerabilities and their strengths.
“acceptance is the heart of true love, not judgment. To be fully accepted by another, even in your weakest moment, is to finally feel at rest.” – Nicholas Sparks (quoted from “Two by Two”)
When I read the premise of this latest book by Nicholas Sparks, I knew that I had to read it, anticipating a power-drive of emotions from this new book.
My journey of reading books and watching movies as a passion started more than 2 decades ago. I started off as a mere spectator and as the journey continued, I started reading and watching with a more critical perspective. What, though, has always remained a constant throughout this journey is the factual, and somehow embarrassing, admittance that “I am a hopeless romantic” who is always sucked into emotions (either on paper or on screen). Especially when it comes to relationships.
So when I read the premise of this latest book by Nicholas Sparks, I knew that I had to read it. I had loved some of his previous work and was anticipating a power-drive of emotions from this new book.
I was straight away hooked to the principal character of the book (Russell Green) and really started relating to his feelings. My interest in the book got deeper and deeper … but it went all downhill after that
My reactions to the book kept on changing as it progressed…
—> During the first quarter of the book, I was straight away hooked to the principal character of the book (Russell Green) and really started relating to his feelings. His relationship with his daughter (London) totally glued me up. The disturbance between him and his wife (Vivian) seemed realistic. As a result, my interest in the book started getting deeper and deeper.
—> the next two quarters of the book, anyhow crushed it all with with brutal forces of cliches, predictability and repetition of situations. The character of Russell, which I had instantly connected with in beginning, started looking like a miserable loser which i would never want to relate to. The situations related to the drift between him and his wife started becoming so monotonously repetitive that I eventually stopped expecting any surprises or twists in the plot. Same things kept on happening again and again; chapter after chapter.
—> Though still loaded with a truck-load of cliches, the last quarter anyhow, summoned up some interest back to the proceedings. Russell’s relationship with his sister Marge became an interesting dimension and though it seemed to be a secondary sub-plot for a major part of the book, its eventually this relationship which saves the book from becoming a total disaster. And this too is a weakness in my opinion; the main plot was so weak that it needed a sub-plot to salvage itself.
At least 60 to 70 pages could’ve easily been dropped without making major compromise on the story.
As a whole, this book definitely needed some tighter editing. At least 60 to 70 pages could’ve easily been dropped without making major compromise on the story. That probably would’ve saved the book from getting dragged into a never ending abyss of boredom and disinterest.
If not for a few charming chapters in the beginning and some reasonably good chapters in the end, this book would’ve been a totally regrettable experience. Though it still ends up leaving a lot to be desired, yet it still was able to give some moments of true connection with the characters and a few events in their lives.
Before starting the book, I asked myself if any book based on relationships and emotions can be bad enough for me to dislike it… and after finishing it, I think I have my answer.