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
Good, clean historic romance novels are my favorite and hate when they get ruined by to much smut & gore.
Since typically I am listening to books while doing other things like chores, driving, etc. Books need to hold my attention and not jump around to much. I don't know how Nicholas Sparks does it, but this book jumps around, but feels beautifully smooth.
I also don't like predictable endings, but even though I knew how things were going to end Sparks made me want to go on that journey with them and I hung on every word...with tissue :')
So many people love Ira and I do to, but young bull rider Luke was my favorite! Coming from Orange County and surrounded my metrosexual males, Luke's character was so refreshing. Loved when Luke casually ground the x-boyfriends face in the ground so calmly like no big deal. A mans man, but without the temper.
We have horses, so I liked all the Rodeo scenes. I think Nicholas Sparks did a great job setting those scenes, from the outfits, dancing & bulls. And yes, ANYONE can enter to ride bulls! My daughter has two friends that entered last summer after only a couple lessons...and both got hurt. Thank goodness not as bad as Luke. Sounds like Sparks did some up close homework when it came to bulls by his respect of these animals. You can't get that from TV.
So refreshing to read a book without a bunch of swearing, inappropriate twisted sexual scenes & garbage. Not so happy that Nicolas Sparks has all his characters sleeping together before their married (including this book). But I guess he wouldn't sell as many books taking the unpopular old fashioned no sex before marriage approach. To bad.
Say something about yourself!
It is wonderful that there are so many authors in the world, because it means there's something for everyone. There are many books that I've given five stars to, but which might make fans of Nicholas Sparks wrinkle up their noses and go, "Are you crazy?"
I fell in love with Nicholas Sparks when I read, by accident, his deeply affecting autobiographical book, "Three Weeks with My Brother." I loved this funny, sweet recounting of the whirlwind trip around the world Sparks took with his brother. I gave it to my then-teenaged son, my husband, and to many friends, all of whom gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.
I have since read three Sparks novels, this being the third. None of which I've ever completed.
I have huge admiration for his ability to craft a story. And I was excited that this one had horses and bull riding and art (how many authors can do that?).
Still, I just couldn't get through it. I know the ending because I hit the fast-forward button.
I have finally decided that I'm just not the right person for a Nicholas Sparks novel. That doesn't mean it's a bad book. It means it's the wrong book for me.
I think this book probably works best for fans of Kristin Hannah, Nora Roberts, or Barbara Delinsky.
Suggested I re-read "Anna Karenina."
I must confess I did like the horseback riding scenes. I also thought the bull riding descriptions were accurate and well-written.
If I could play editor, I would hand this off to the person in my office who specializes in romance. Because turning it away would be a really stupid financial decision. But I would not be the appropriate person to handle it.
Fans of Sparks will love this book. And they'll be happy, because I know now not to try another one. I've given it a good shot and it's just not a good fit.
This book/story was by far one of the best I have read this year
I absolutely loved how this book reads and the performance by Ron McLarty and January LaVoy makes it so easy to visualize
If you have seen the movie I promise you won't be disappointed with the book Nor will you want to stop reading or listening once you start
I recommend this book to anyone who loves a story that leaves you wanting more
Ps: Nicholas Sparks you have gained a fan this is the first of your writings I have read but it is not the last I will read that is a promise
Totally addicted to Audible.
Likeable characters. Serious plot holes. And the ending comes from a story I heard many years ago. Felt like the author was reaching for a story.
I thought the book to be a bit too long
and drawn out. The ending was the shortest and best part of the book but
you have to wait a very long time for it.
The narration was great, especially Ira, gave it 5 stars.
I have been listening to this audio book for months now, because I just kept getting so bored in each sitting I would give it up as a bad job. But then my curiosity and need for closure forced me to pick it back up again to see what happens at the end. And I must admit, the fact that it has been made into a movie made me want to finish the book first before considering whether to see the movie.
The story is sweet, but the writing is very slow. Looking back, you realize nothing happens for very long stretches. This could have been written as a short story and would have been very good.
The ending becomes all too predictable about 2 hours or so from the end of the book, but by then I was committed to listening to the end. I don't know if it reads differently as a traditional book. I'm conflicted about recommending it because there is nothing special or unique about the story until the last 3 chapters and by then, I was too exhausted and it was too obvious to blow me away!
The narration was ok, though I found the female narrator's attempt at making male voices annoying and ineffective. More skilled narrators don't need to make voices; they can convey the change in character in their tone. But it wasn't so annoying as to prevent me from listening.
The story of the old guy in the car is very hard to listen too. I have been fast forwarding through most of the story. Slow. Slow. Slow.
This was the first book on tape I have listened to was a bit skeptical on the narration and how I would perceive it this book was fabulous very well narrated kept my interest the whole way through, Nicholas Sparks is wonderful I have
read many of his books and I will do books on tape again
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