Hey there! It’s finally the weekend! We’ve been super excited here for the weekend because we finally get to Branson, Missouri. I wouldn’t leave you alone for a whole weekend, so I’ve got something scheduled.
Lately I’ve been reading a good bit of Nicholas Sparks books, so this weekend is Nicholas Sparks Weekend. I will post three reviews of the three books I have read recently: The Longest Ride, Safe Haven, and The Lucky One. (For the third book I was trying to choose between The Lucky One and The Best of Me but I saw the movie for The Best of Me so I thought I’d better not read that one unless I wanted to cry my eyes out.)
Here we go with The Longest Ride.
I really liked this book. This is the first Nicholas Sparks book I’ve read in ages. I saw the trailer for the new movie and it looks amazing. I wanted to know what happened, so I picked up a discounted copy at Walmart. I was surprised when I started it that there are actually two love stories in this one, an older couple and a younger couple, much like The Notebook (only they are not the same couple in this one).
It is about two separate love stories that converge in a slightly expected way. It starts with an elderly man named Ira who has just been in a car accident. As he is stranded in a ditch he reflects back on his life with his wife, Ruth. Their love story starts in the 1940s before the United States got involved in World War II. They are both Jewish, and Ruth’s family has left Vienna, seeking refuge here in the states. Their wonderful story unfolds from there in a series of flashbacks mixed with dialogue between Ruth and Ira. They talk to each other like a no nonsense older couple would and it’s super adorable. It also reminds me of the way that my husband and I talk to each other, even though we don’t have nearly as many years under out belts as they did.
After reading a few sections from the older man, Ira’s, line, I fell in love with him. Each of his sections showed how much he absolutely adored his wife and were very moving. I almost cried after almost every one of his passages. After finishing the book, I was very worried that they would not include him in the movie (because he wasn’t in the trailer I saw), and I thought that would be a huge mistake. So I checked IMDB and they had Alan Alda cast as old Ira. After seeing that, whenever I read Ira’s lines, I could hear his voice. It was great.
The second, and I think main, couple is Luke and Sophia (which I pronounced Sophie for almost the whole book). After coming out of a horrible (with the possibility of becoming abusive) relationship, Sophia’s best gal pal and sorority sister convinces her to go with the ladies to a rodeo. While there, she sees that her ex boyfriend is semi stalking her and corners her. Luke sees the confrontation and physically forces the ex to leave Sophia alone. This starts a whirlwind relationship between the two.
Watching as the two love stories unfold and overcome obstacles gives you a real sense of hope and belief that love can last a life time and even longer. It shows that forever love is not something that is restricted to the older generation. It also shows that love can’t necessarily conquer all, but that’s okay because after the hurt you still have that love between each other. The two couples have great love stories, but their lives aren’t perfect (see Ira’s later chapters!).
I would (and already have) recommend this book to anyone. It was great. And I’ll leave you with my favorite quote.
“If we’d never met, I think I would have known that my life wasn’t complete. And i would have wondered the world in search of you, even if I didn’t know that I was looking for.” (So you can see why Ira’s passages got me all teary eyed.)
Have any of you read The Longest Ride? What did you think of it? Do you have any other Nicholas Sparks books you’d like to recommend? Leave it in the comments below and have a great weekend!