Monday, February 3, 2014

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Every fall my sisters and I eagerly anticipate when Nicholas Sparks will be releasing his newest work of romantic fiction and mark our calendars accordingly.  I fell in love with NS when I first saw Message In A Bottle in theatres back in 1999 with Kevin Costner and Robin Wright (Penn).  I fell in love with the scenery, the writing, the cast, the music, EVERYTHING.  When I saw the movie was based on a book, I had to know right then who would write such a beautiful love story. And ever since, as soon as one of his new releases hits the shelves, I have my copy reserved & all ready to go.

Last year, he released The Best of Me, which I had a difficult time with.  It's hard for me to get behind a love story when it involves a married man/woman - EVEN if it's a bad situation.  I just get this yucky feeling as I'm reading it.  But the one before that was Safe Haven - which I loved! So it was kind of a coin toss for me this year to pick up The Longest Ride and I didn't have a whole lot of expectations.

But seriously, I so loved it!  Yes, NS is back!  I could imagine every little detail and thought it was such a sweet and endearing story, one in which will be added to his long line of successful films as well.  I thought it was so good I told my sister she needs to pick it up asap and passed it off to my mother-in-law immediately!  If you have never read Nicholas Sparks, I couldn't recommend a better one to start with!  (Well, ok, maybe except for Message In A Bottle and The Notebook. And A Walk to Remember.)  Geez, love him.

Description: Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

Rating: *****
Recommend:  Always.  He's been a longtime favorite of mine!

1 comment:

Katrina Hope said...

Just picked up my copy from the library. Hoping it lives up to this glowing review. ;)