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The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
Member Name: dawnymarie
The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
Date: 18/10/11, updated on 20/03/12 (128 review reads)
Advantages: ALL I WANT FROM A LOVE STORY
Why did I consider reading this book - having already seen the movie? Well the film had such an impact on me (one of my favourites) that it was a natural progression and I was intrigued to see if the movie had hit all the right notes as far as the book was concerned. Bought for a reasonable price from www.thebookdepository.co.uk at £6.39 and looking appealing from the front cover - with matching impressive blurb on the rear - I anticipated a good read and cry!
*Sit yourself down and I shall begin*
A short synopsis of this novel by Nicholas Sparks - The book begins with a wonderful old gentleman who resides in a residential home recapping on his experiences of his life via a notebook which he reads to an elderly lady. This happens to feature the love of his life - his one and only true love who was his soul mate. We then go back in time to when Noah was a young man working the land in beautiful surroundings - which he loved. During the summer months he meets Allie. He and Allie spend as much of their time together as is possible and soon discover their feelings for each other. He is poetic and a dreamer and appreciates natural beauty - she is captivated by this and it feeds her heart and soul. She is artistic, creative and oozing confidence and a zest for life - he is entranced. They are young but acknowledge that they are meant to be together - however this is not to be. Class and cultural differences are set to divide them and part them - painfully. Each of them has to move forward with their life and accept that the best they can hope for is to maintain the memory of that summer of love - true deep passionate love. Some years later Allie is compelled to return to Noah - she is to be married to well suited fiance, Lon, and has decided that she needs to see Noah. When the two of them are reunited will the old love be rekindled? Did it ever die? Or will she gain closure and remain friends with Noah?
*Are you sitting comfortably?*
This book is a page turner - be warned. Even though I have seen the movie and know what the plot line is I was completely satisfied by the authors sublime prose. Straight away I developed a relationship with Noah - his traits are so endearing and attractive in a man for me. He is fiercely loyal, protective, poetic, creative, strong, masculine, forgiving and compassionate. To walk with him on his journey through the pages of this book was a joy as the composition is written beautifully and masterfully.
When the young Noah meets Allie - the other main protagonist - it made my heart skip a beat. The prose is eloquent in producing intense passion. I like the fact that there is minimal description of the surroundings, events, work and the like - this is all to do with how these two lovers feel and boy do they connect on a very deep level. Allie is a higher class than Noah and her parents frown upon her getting involved with a boy who is not at all suitable - she totally follows her heart and ignores her parents protests. She has to be with Noah - her heart is ruling her head and that is powerful stuff. I warmed to Allie - though not as quickly as I did to Noah, which may have been the class issue? But all the same Allie has a place in my heart too. The summer that they spent together was exhilarating for them and the reader - pure excitement and thrill of being together, nothing else in the world mattered and they were going to be together forever ..... until fate ran its course and her parents moved her far away from Noah.
Letters that Noah wrote were hidden from Allie - both of them hurt like heck. I could empathise with them both as I witnessed the disappointment and then the doubt - was it real or was it just a silly summer love thing? Very thought provoking - but not for long as I just could not wait to continue with the story - the prose does not bog you down with overlong passages of random chit chat and goings on which I much appreciated as I just wanted to be with Allie and Noah and know what they were doing and thinking and what was coming next.
After the war - in which Noah played a part and survived to tell the tale - the prose begins to heat up a little, the pace quickens and with it my heart. After an article is spotted in the paper, regarding Noah and a special property that he and Allie visited during their summer together, Allie declares her need for some time alone to escape the stress of the high profile wedding planning and tells her fiance, Lon, that she is going for a short break to hunt for antiques. Lon remains two dimensional but from the short snippets that I got from the prose I developed a respect and liking for his character - some of his traits were appealing, though most of them not to me.
Of course Allie has returned to the town where Noah is and memories flood back during the drive. She is unsure how good an idea it is to actually go and see him. Would it be fair to him after all this time and why exactly did she need to see him face to face? I had a very good idea and I was hoping upon hope that they would fall into each others arms and continue their great adventure of love together and have a happy ending.
The meeting is intense, spiritual, soul searching, captivating, sensual - oh it is just everything that I want from a love story - a real and true love that never dies. I was in my element and those pages that describe what happened during the following days are incredible, they evoke such emotion in me!
The prose comes forward in time to the residential home and we meet the elderly gentleman again - illness taking its toll on his now frail body. He reads from his notebook to his wife every day without fail. I am so comfortable in this guys company through the pages of prose. He is gentle, kind, compassionate and fiercely loyal! He is a special soul and I cannot help but connect with him. His obvious and enduring love for his wife is extraordinary and it is only the nursing staff who realise his gift - which has the most unique effect of which they have never encountered before now.
The book is nearing to the end - some of the most poignant and emotive, impassioned creativity lies on these pages and I found myself slowing right down in order to digest each and every sentence entirely - from which I sighed great satisfaction as well as shedding a tear.
Whilst reading this prose it brought to mind my intense and tenacious love that I share with my husband and I could empathise completely with the story of Noah and Allie - beautiful and exquisite whilst also being one of the most emotive and poignant reads I have had thus far.
*How does it compare with the movie*
Well we all perceive differently and of course some prefer written word to moving images and vice versa. My opinion - truly I adore them both equally. But I will say that there is more insight to the inner world in the book - which I really liked and it will make the film all the more fulfilling when I next get up the courage to watch it.
*Is the book recommended?*
You can probably guess the answer to that question without me needing to suggest yay or nay. Absolutely yes - the prose is stunningly beautiful in a simple and straight forward way. I appreciated the minimal use of descriptive passages and was thankful that the author maintained a firm focus on the story - the emotions, passion and love. The protagonists are engraved in my heart forever - I have developed a bond with Noah and Allie. They are well rounded and complete - their traits are believable and endearing. Other support characters remain two dimensional and that is absolutely fine by me as it enabled me to stick with the wonderful plot line and develop a warm relationship with these two connected souls. I love the locale that the prose is set in as it sounds like somewhere I would like to live - surrounded by natural beauty and having the simple things in life take priority. The book seems to maintain a higher price than more recent books but you can source it for less if you buy used and of course can borrow from a library. I have no problem with the price - the prose is very satisfying.
*You may like to know*
Where to purchase - Amazon, eBay, Book Depository, Waterstones and all good bookstores
Price varies - approximately £6.00 at this time
*That is all for now folks - thanks for reading - also published on Ciao - dawnymarie*
Summary: A STORY OF ENDURING LOVE