The world’s favourite love story – a review of the Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

“who am I? And how, I wonder, will this story end?

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

From the book to the movie, there are very few people who do not know about this story. Everyone remembers the moment they first experienced this phenomenal tale of true love. It became a movement. Growing up, I recall girls “Notebooking” their boyfriends. (for those unfamiliar with this term, – you would hold movie night and surprise him with the Notebook – guys avoided this as far as possible) The Notebook became the measuring stick for love and relationships. And years later, it still is.

Thank you to Jonathan Ball Publishers for gifting me a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

This is my very first encounter with the book, but not my first encounter with the story. And the full impact of this book hits me everytime. I definitely cried more in the movie, than the book, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling portrayed these characters phenomenally. They definitely brought Allie and Noah alive for me. And having read the book now, I understand how much love went into every aspect of this story. But the story still hits me. EVERY. TIME.

But he had been in love once, that he knew. Once and only once, and a long time ago. And it had changed him forever. Perfect love did that to a person, and this had been perfect.

Nicholas Sparks, the Notebook.

When I picked up this book, I was feeling empty and exhausted. When I finished it, my heart was overflowing with love, compassion and an overwhelming need to be close to my husband. The love that Sparks writes about flows from the page. It’s in every line and every sentence and every paragraph of this book, this story. You cannot help but be moved. The intensity of such a short novel (it’s about 200 pages) left me lying awake, thinking about our story till the early hours of the morning.

Despite the intensity of the theme, I found this book to be easy to read. It’s well paced, giving you time to deal with the tougher themes as well as giving you the thrill of young love. I finished this in one sitting. The story flows beautifully. It’s an ode to love. And I am in awe. For 25 years the world has been in awe.

I think you have your work cut out for you when you create two artistic main characters. And Sparks knocked it out of the park. It was absolutely phenomenal. Noah’s love for poetry is evident in every action, every phrase. Allie’s passion for art is such a part of her. I cannot even begin to describe it. I resonated so much with both these characters. And that is the beauty of this story. You either identify with some of their traits yourself, or you have a Noah and Allie in your life. Or both. And that is what makes this story so phenomenal.

This story is so much more than this epic, EPIC love story. It’s about love, understanding and perseverance. About choosing each other daily. About choosing yourself. The depth of this book took my breath away.

About this book:

Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast begins the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned from the Second World War. Noah is restoring a plantation home to its former glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only memories…until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.

Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the beginning. As it unfolds, their tale miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. The result is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments and the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever

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