Author: Nicholas Sparks
First Published: 2003
Page Count: 276
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Note: Sequel to The Notebook
Though this book plays off the magic of one of Sparks most well-known previous novels, it has a very relatable love story that goes well with our current times.
*Interesting ending twist *Noteworthy theme *Good connection to the previous book
“It’s funny but have you ever noticed that the more special something is, the more people seem to take it for granted? Its like they think it won’t ever change.” Wilson Lewis has spent his life tied to his career and he’s only starting to realize what this has cost him as he reaches his thirtieth wedding anniversary. He should be in a happier stage of his life with his daughter’s upcoming marriage but the possibility of his wife, Jane, leaving him overshadows the gaiety of the preparations. With the help of his in-law, Noah Calhoun, Wilson must try to create the type of happiness in his own marriage that he has witnessed from his in-laws, Allie and Noah while there is still time.
This book has sat on the shelf a long time simply because I hated The Notebook. I know it’s because I greatly preferred the film adaptation, which isn’t really fair when judging a book, but it made me wonder if it’s sequel could possibly do any better. Thankfully, it was radically better than what I expected. I enjoyed how the author weaved The Notebook into this story which I think adds to its romantic, magical feeling. Noah and Allie Calhoun are up there with Romeo and Juliet as far as I’m concerned when it comes to famous lovers in literature, and any connection to them adds to the power of the romance in this story. However, this book could really stand on its own as far as the story goes, which is great because the author isn’t making this The Notebook 2; it is its own unique world. It feels like you’re getting something new but with some added magic of the past; it’s a fantastic combo. The message in this story also really hit home for me as well. The whole point is not to get caught up in things that don’t matter when your life comes to an end; in Wilson Lewis’s case it was his job that consumed him but it was his wife and family he had neglected. I think this is something our society totally ignores and it is really sad. A glowing career or numerous accolades don’t amount to anything if you are alone at the end of your days without any memories to keep you company.
I really had no problems with this book for what it is. If you don’t like romantic novels then obviously this isn’t for you. However, it is a quick read with a solid plot including romance and heartache that really touch you. What else would you expect from Sparks at this point? It’s also great because, unlike his other books, which I seem to have a knack for figuring out in the end, this one has a satisfying twist at the end I didn’t see coming.
If you enjoyed The Notebook (the film or the book), I would definitely check out The Wedding because it gives you some nice closure to that story while also showing you another side of that family. After finishing the book, whether you’ve lived your life like Noah Calhoun or Wilson Lewis, you will definitely be left reflecting on how short life is and where your time and energy can most meaningfully be spent in the future.