Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Best of Me

Photo taken by Ms. C. 
I began Nicholas Sparks' latest book, The Best of Me, tentatively.  It's not that I don't like his other works.  I love his older novels.  However - prior to reading The Best of Me - I found his recent tales tiresome, repetitive, and with too strong a focus on criminal activities.  Sparks came to be an author who wrote love stories that always included a crazy person with a gun somewhere within the plot.  And that, to me, is not an attractive story.

The Best of Me works within that framework.  Sparks weaves the tale of Amanda and Dawson, two former lovers who meet each other at the funeral of a mutual friend after years of separation.  Amanda and Dawson's past and present relationships are examined throughout The Best of Me.  Readers come to question the notion of true love and the impact of a first love in one's life.  Of course, typical of Sparks' recent tradition, there is some gun-wielding drama.

I greatly enjoyed this book.  The Best of Me seems to bridge Sparks' two writing styles - his new found love for depicting criminal behaviour and a honest, captivating love story.  I found the plot addictive and the characters believable.  The story was predictive - I've chatted to a few people about this book and we all say we saw the ending a mile away.  However, each and every one of us could not put the book down. 

And the story's ending... oh how I wish I could write more fully about it without giving away spoilers.  It is a beautiful story with an ending that is both touching and yet disturbing.  Yes, disturbing.  I can't think of another way to describe it.

Bibliographical Information:
Sparks, N.  (2011).  The best of me.  New York: Grand Central Publishing.

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