Tag Archives: Nicholas Sparks

The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

In June my younger brother & sister came over from Canada for a vacation & my sister was reading this when she arrived. She lugged it through Europe, then when she left to go home she left it behind. So, of course, I thought I would read it! I have read a lot of Nicholas Sparks’ books & most of them have been fine – a predictable, but thoroughly enjoyable read. The Rescue was no exception!

The Rescue follows the story of Denise Holten, a single mom with a developmentally delayed child. Her son, Kyle, who is 5, has the vocabulary & speech ability of an 18 month old, but no one seems to be able to tell Denise exactly what is wrong. On the way home from seeing yet another specialist, Denise and Kyle are in a car accident. Denise is rescued by Taylor McAden, a volunteer fireman, who Kyle takes an immediate liking to.

Through Kyle, Denise & Taylor begin to develop a bond, but Denise knows that something just isn’t right. Taylor is holding back & Denise fears that she, and more importantly, Kyle are going to get hurt.The Rescue is a lovely story full of emotion & I especially like how Sparks shows Denise to be the human she is – someone prone to frustration at not being able to make her son speak. She’s vulnerable & scared that her son is never going to fit in, never find love, never be normal.

As I said earlier, Sparks books are pretty predictable in that they follow the romance formula – guy meets girl, there’s an attraction. One or both of them has a “Fatal Flaw” that must be overcome & then there’s the requisite happy ending. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not good reads, though, because quite the opposite is true. Sparks has a wonderful way with words & makes his characters, and his stories, come alive. He writes about believable, every day situations which helps his readers identify with his characters & their stories all the more.  If you haven’t read any Nicholas Sparks, this is a pretty good place to start.


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Books to movies

I thought I had already written a post about books made into movies, but a search of my posts tells me no.

Every year, some outstanding books are made into movies & the results are often very mixed. I have to admit that there have been very few movies made from books that have left me preferring the movie, but there have been a few. Such as:

But, more often than not, the book is so much better than the movie ever could hope to be. There have been some real stinkers – like Lawnmower man, the Stephen King short story. It was a great short story, but really should have been left as that. The “movie” bore absolutely no resemblance to the story it was supposedly based on. Another one was The Shining – also another Stephen King book. I know most people love love love Jack Nicholson & I will agree that he’s great in his later movies, but I hated him in The Shining & thought the movie was laughable. Memoirs of a Geisha is another one. Excellent book – dreadful boring movie.

Usually, the reason for the preference of the book to the movie (at least in my case) is that I have read the book first & the movies so rarely live up to what I see in my head, in my imagination. When I was in high school one of my favourite books was Shoeless Joe Comes to Iowa, by W. P. Kinsella. It was probably the first book that I read & just couldn’t put down until I’d finished it. I’ve seen A Field of Dreams – I saw it when it first came out & I loved it. It was one of those very rare movies that I loved as much as the book. Until the other day. It was on tv a couple of weeks ago & we taped it, so I could watch it later. Well, I watched it & now I’m not so sure. It just wasn’t as good as I remember & it sure doesn’t live up to what I remember the book to be.

Maybe Hollywood should leave books alone & come up with something else to ruin!


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The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

The Guardian is a story about love, but not necessarily in the traditional sense. The story begins by providing some historical information about the main character, Julie. She married young and was widowed young & after his death her husband sends her a Christmas present – a Great Dane puppy, who she names Singer.

Four years have passed since her husband’s death & Julie decides that perhaps it is time to start dating again. She has the usual bad dates before meeting Richard Franklin, a dashing man who wines and dines Julie & sweeps her off her feet. Watching from the sidelines is Mike Harris,  her dead husband’s best friend & the man she has come to rely on. Mike is in love with Julie, but afraid to tell her, not wanting to be rejected and ruin what he does have.

Things begin to take a turn for the bad when Julie decides to end her relationship with Richard & he begins stalking her.

The Guardian featured the usual Sparks romance – with a dramatic twist (for a romance novel). It was a refreshing turn for Sparks & I enjoyed this book more than any of his I have read. Well done Mr. Sparks! Excellent novel & I hope you write more of the same!

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Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks follows the story of John Tyree, a once troubled youth who joined the army because he felt he had no other choices in life. While home on leave John meets Savannah, a young college student who is in his home town building houses for Habitat for Humanity. John & Savannah fall in love almost immediately & promise to wait for each other – he while she finishes school, her while he does his time in the army.

Ok, so that was destined for failure, wasn’t it? John & Savannah are from completely different worlds with very little in common & these things begin to show more & more after their enforced time apart. They make every effort to make the relationship work, as best they can, but when you’re as far apart as they are, for as long as they are, it’s bound to test even the strongest relationship. When John comes home for his annual leave, they fight as each is expecting things to be exactly the same as when they were last together, but how can it be? They have each moved on to different things, had different experiences & lived different lives in the others’ absence.

After John’s time in the military is up he decides to sign up for another tour, causing further strain on the relationship. After a time Savannah decides to get on with living her life, which she feels can no longer include John, as there is now too much time, too much distance, too much resentment (on Savannah’s behalf) for them to be together, so she sends him a Dear John letter to tell him it’s over.

Now, I haven’t told you the whole story, but this is basically a “Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy does something girl thinks is stupid, boy & girl break up & spend rest of their lives pining for each other” kind of story – which has now been made into a movie……..

Dear John was a nice story, I read it in a day & 1/2 & I am sure that if you were really into reading romance novels, then you would love love love this book. It was ok, but The Wedding was better!

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The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

Earlier this summer a friend & I spent the day at a country park here in Nottinghamshire. While we were there we went to the gift shop & she bought a couple of books & I picked up The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read a couple of his other books (Message in a bottle, A bend in the road) & really enjoyed them, which is what lead me to picking this one up. When I saw that it was the sequel to The Notebook, I was a little hesitant in getting it. I have seen the movie The Notebook, but hadn’t read the book, so was unsure if I would want to read this. Well, I am pleased to say that I am really glad I spent the £2.99 to buy The Wedding!

Often I tend to get really wrapped up in the books I read & this can sometimes have somewhat disastrous consequences.  Well, not long after deciding to read The Wedding I had to travel to Northampton for a training day for work. Since I don’t drive that meant taking the train, which was perfect, as it would mean that I could sit on the train for several hours & just read. Which is what I did. By the time I was on the return part of my journey I was in a very crucial part of the book & became so engrossed that I missed my train stop, where I was supposed to change trains so that I could get home. 2 stops after I was supposed to have changed trains I happened to look up & realise what had happened. Oops! Well, that bit of being so engrossed added an extra 2.5 hours to my train journey, but it was so worth it!

The Wedding follows the story of Wilson & Jane after Wilson has come to the realisation that his wife has fallen out of love with him & that he alone must shoulder the blame for this. Wilson is the son-in-law of Noah & Ali (they of The Notebook) & he turns to Noah for help in how to make Jane fall in love with him again. The Wedding is a beautiful story of romance told from a male perspective & I can honestly say that it reduced me to tears in a couple of places. (trust me, this is a very rare thing for books & movies).  So often sequels are such a disappointment (both in book & movie format), but The Wedding wasn’t. What I don’t understand is why the people who made The Notebook into a blockbuster film haven’t grabbed this book & done the same. The Notebook reduced countless women to tears & I know that The Wedding would do the same!


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