The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

“I am a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.”

With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s got us thinking about our favourite romance books. I recently read The Notebook and it is definitely a book for hopeless romantics. The book was also made into a film in 2004 starring Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling.

It is a tale of a couple’s life together. From their first summer at 16 when they met, to their breakup, to their meeting again a decade later and then the end.

I was in tears by the end of the first chapter, and again many times throughout this book. The simple tale of love and how people can be pulled back together again after so long is emotionally intense.

The story starts with Noah telling his wife Allie a story as they sit in the care home they both live in. Allie has Alzheimer’s disease and doesn’t know that the story is actually about her and Noah so just listens in excitement about what is going to happen next, which is both heartbreaking and beautiful.

Noah as the narrator mostly tells the story of his and Allie’s life, then occasionally comes back to the present. Their story is set in 1940s North Carolina and begins with Noah, alone, living in a house he built himself. He is constantly reminded by Allie, who he met 14 years ago one Summer, and cannot forget about her. Without giving away too much of the story, Noah and Allie do end up finding each other again, but it is not that simple.

Nicholas Sparks is known for his unrealistic tales of love, but that’s what his readers want. Admittedly, the language can be simple and overly cliche, but personally, I think that is what makes perfect romance stories.

The one part of the story that was slightly annoying was the way that Alzheimer’s disease was inaccurately described throughout the novel, which was also a problem in the film. The way that Allie goes in and out of having symptoms of her disease is medically inaccurate, almost as though Sparks has used it as a tool to create a love story.

Despite the cliched writing style and slight inaccuracies, I love this book. I read it in one sitting and maybe it’s just because I fall for anything romantic, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read something easy with a happy ending.

About the author: Nicholas Sparks

  • Born in 1965.
  • American novelist, screenwriter and producer.
  • He has 18 novels, 11 have been adapted into films.
  • The Notebook was his first published novel, which made the New York Times best-seller list in its first week of release.
  • After the success of The Notebook, he released several more romantic-drama novels.
  • To find out more about Nicholas Sparks see his website.
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