Nicholas Sparks is my favorite romantic author. His Message in a Bottle was the first book I read and It won my heart.
I am proud to say that he was the only writer who had made me cry over a romantic novel. I was very embarrassed about this, crying over a a romantic story but later on, when I got to know him better through his later works, I got opportunities to break through the surface level of ‘love- lost and found’ and plunge into the deeper and divine emotions of sacrifice, trust and faith at the face of adversities. The lessons that you learn from Sparks’ world are immense.
Not sure if you have read Message in a Bottle but it has been a movie as well back in 1998 bearing the same name starring Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn.
It is also fair to mention about the first book that is ever written by him at a very young age of 28, The Note Book. This was also made into a movie later on starred by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. The Note Book should clearly ring a bell, right?
The Best of Me is the book I read recently which was published back in October 2011. I want to share a snippet with you…
THE BEST OF ME
“Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was possible. She’d believed in it once, too, back when she was eighteen.”- The Best of Me
The Best of Me is the love story of Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier, two people hailing from the opposite tracks of life, society and culture. Set in the back ground of a small town called Oriental in North Carolina, Dawson and Amanda start their relationship as high school sweethearts in the spring of 1984. The Coles and Colliers’ families are not on good terms with each other and there are constant sparring and opinion differences between them. Naturally, they did not cherish the relationship that is evolving in the young hearts of their children and troubles started brewing in various fronts. But Dawson and Amanda pay no attention to the rivalry between their parents and continue to loose themselves in their love for each other. Then in the summer of their senior year, a tragedy occur which tears them apart and their relationship. The sad misfortune drives Dawson far away from Amanda both physically and emotionally, not to be seen again in her life for the next twenty five years!
Dawson’s life after leaving Amanda becomes hell on earth and he learned to shut his life out to all the softer feelings to stay sane and live with less pain as possible. One day, he gets a call from his town. The caller brings bad news. Dawson’s long time friend, the only person he has kept in touch for the past several years, had passed away. The caller also happens to be the executor of the deceased person’s estate and advises Dawson that Tuck, his client had left something for Dawson to inherit. Dawson is left heart broken on the death of his only friend he had on earth and promises the executor that he will be taking the first flight home.
Nothing prepares Dawson when he meets Amanda at the run down house of Tuck after twenty five years where she also visits after the same call from Tuck’s executor of the estate. They both soon realize that Tuck set the stage for this rendezvous which could determine Dawson and Amanda’s life from that point. Tuck had known them for so long and he was the only one who truly understood what Dawson and Amanda felt for each other. So, it shouldn’t even come as a surprise that Tuck did all this preparations for their arrival at his dilapidated shack after his death, so that he can gift them with a second chance. But the question is, will they take it?
The Executor, also a lawyer advise both of them that there are a series of instructions and a two letters addressed to both Dawson and Amanda written by Tuck before his death and he will be handing over to them to peruse. They are to carry out those instructions first and read the letters afterwards.
Dawson realizes that his feelings for Amanda has not changed a bit and the time passed between them have done nothing to dull the ache of passion and love that he feels for her still. Amanda also reels in the memories that she tried so hard to bury inside of her all these years and the all powerful love for this man invades her heart and soul once again. Dawson learns from Amanda that she is now married with three grown children and is happy with her life. He could not understand or assess what Amanda’s feelings are for him right now or will she come back to him leaving all that she built up over the years, to be called his, finally.
In the mean time, Dawson has to face his nemesis in that small town, the tragic reason he left from there in the first place. During carrying out Tuck’s instructions, Amanda and Dawson learns a lot more about each other and dared to start thinking of a future together. The rivalry between the Coles and Colliers are still there, the tragedy that Dawson was subjected to twenty five years ago still threatens his conscience and now there is Amanda’s family to worry about. Will she leave them for him?
The reader learns a lot along the way. They get a glimpse to the shared past of Amanda and Dawson with fresh eyes, witnesses the circumstances that changed Dawson for the worse and drove him away from the place that he called home and the love he longed for, Amanda. But eventually, Dawson finds a way to give back the best in himself to all that he held dear, to mend the mistakes that he made unknowingly but also to live in the hearts of people that he loved. He offered the best in himself and finally he received what he yearned for all his life- the love that he long deserved…
In The Best of Me, you will experience the serenity of Sparks’ words and the turbulent emotions that his characters feel while you are at it, which is what a great book does, always- it facilitates a reader’s ability to become a bystander in an author’s world and get to witness the life of the characters that live in it.