Newest Review: ... a bit. Her friends Mike, his brother Henry and his wife Emma are all looking out for Julie, as is her dog Singer who was a gift from her h... more
Someone's watching over you...
The Guardian - Nicholas Sparks
Member Name: katyj10
The Guardian - Nicholas Sparks
Advantages: Mysterious and dark
Disadvantages: I guessed a lot of it before it happened
This is a review of the 2003 book 'The Guardian' written by Nicholas Sparks, who is also the author of the Notebook which was made into a film not so long ago. The Guardian has been in my reading pile for ages and it was only recently that I picked it up and carried on reading past the first page!
A bit about...
In 'The Guardian' the book's main protagonist is Julie who was unfortunately widowed at a young age. Still in her 20s, she clings to the memories of her time with Jim (who sounds like a lovely man) and it is only a few years after his death that she feels ready to move on and begin dating. Her job as a hairdresser puts her in good access to men but a few disastrous dates with unsuitable men have given her a bad start and she meets a man called Richard who is working in her small town. Richard seems to be really nice but he is very keen and this puts her off a bit. Her friends Mike, his brother Henry and his wife Emma are all looking out for Julie, as is her dog Singer who was a gift from her husband that arrived the Christmas after his death.
Romance or thriller
Well, both actually. After Julie decides she is not interested in Richard (which is pretty early in the book), he turns a bit weird on her and she is sure he is stalking her. Is she imagining the rustles in the bushes when she walks her dog and who is the man on the beach looking at her on a boat through binoculars? When she begins a relationship with Jim's best man, Mike who is also a good friend, she knows that Richard is not going to be happy about this.
I found the storyline a bit predictable and the things that were going to happen were heavily hinted at in the book. For example, when Richard gets drunk and has to stay over the night at Julie's house, she says that he 'looked as if he was sound asleep' and I straight away thought - aha! He isn't asleep then so what is he going to do? The book was quite psychological in a way as it messed with Julie's head in her terror of what Richard was going to do next and you as the reader share that worry. The small town mentality of Swansboro, North Carolina was funny, everyone grew up together (except Julie who was technically an outsider) and went to school together so everyone knows everyone else's business. Any newcomers to town are of public interest and it takes a while for them to be accepted by everyone.
I liked 'Mike the Mechanic' - he sounds a bit rough and ready but he sure was handy around the house. He loves Julie unconditionally and will do anything to protect her. Richard is definitely weird but he starts off OK. It's the necklace gift after only a couple of dates that starts off his weird behaviour, when he gets all arsy because Julie is not wearing it at work. Henry and Emma sound like great friends and are good for both Mike and Julie. They are relaxed about their relationship and definitely love to have fun going out dancing and days at the beach (just leave the kids at home hey!). The hairdressing colleagues are a bit strange, Mabel the owner is OK but Andrea sounds like a real flake, always hitting on the wrong men and feeling jealous of any relationship Julie has.
As I mentioned above, I found this book a bit too predictable and there was not a lot of surprises in there. I enjoyed the drama of the sand dunes at the beach house at the end of the book and there were a few guesses in me about who might get to live and who would die! I don't usually read this sort of book but I don't mind one for a change every now and again. It was penned as a part romance but in no way did it get close to a Mills and Boon thankfully. I would hesitantly recommend this book if you enjoy a bit of a thriller but don't expect too much from it.
Summary: A good romance thriller