Audie Award Winner, Romance, 2014
Ira Levinson is in trouble. At 91 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.
©2013 Nicholas Sparks (P)2013 Hachette Audio
As always, I was drawn in almost from the start. Sparks' character development is always superb; my explanation for why the movies never come close to being as incredible as the books, though many have been as good as they could have been in their allotted time. Trying to figure out the connection between the 3 main characters was an intriguing twist.
I think i got this as one of those deals or something. I am the only American girl alive that didn't realize Nicholas Sparks was a romance writer (i know, I KNOW you guys) but I just can't with this kind of book. It's a romance novel. If you're into that, then go for it. If you like thinking while you read, then skip this one.
Two separate storylines, that I expected to intermingle at one point. Back and forth between two couples. One couple has been together for 75 years, the other is just beginning. Although the narration was excellent, the story of the senior couple, Ira & Ruth was quite drawn out. I get it, Ruth was Ira's whole life, his one and only love. Let's move on.
The younger couple, Luke and Sophia was more interesting, but almost too sappy, predictable. I thought I was reading a harlequin type romance.
The ending is what made this book. How the two couples eventually connected. And yes, in typical Sparks tradition, it was very romantic, very sad, yet heartwarming...at the end. A lot of slow moving to get to a sweet ending.
The story is a little hard to get into, and from a guys perspective, a bit of a "chick flick".
This is two stories being told simultaneously and the Ira/Ruth story seems to be the one that's harder to get into, although, Ron McLarty reads the Ira parts and does an excellent job as with every other book he has read that I have listed too. On that same note, I have never liked any female readers, idk why, none have seemed to read the books to my liking, however January LaVoy did an amazing job and I will be buying more books read by her after this amazing performance!
Like I said, this is more of a chick flick but it was very good and Nicholas Sparks did an excellent job of weaving the story's together and tying it all into a nice bow at the end.
Good read, give it a shot, worth the time!
Usually I'm not much for romance, but this was a nice change of pace and I really enjoyed this book. Good story and good performance by reader. Wish I could find another similar.
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