Book Review: The Wedding, Nicholas Sparks

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 1 August 2010 20:53
I'm a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks. The writer of many a romantic novel, including Message in a Bottle, Nights in Rodanthe and most famously The Notebook and Dear John, his words are so beautiful that reading any of his books fills you with appreciation for that little thing called love. Soppy, I know.

Granted, I appreciated it a lot more when I wasn't single; and since being single I find it difficult, perhaps impossible, to watch or read The Notebook. I haven't seen it in over two years. But it's still one of my favourite films, and books, of all time. Unlike many other novel-to-screen adaptations, I think all the films that I have seen so far have lived up to the books' fantastic standards - particularly The Notebook (helped by the breathtaking beauty and talent of Rachel McAdams and her handsome co-star, Ryan Gosling).

But, back to the books. My mum and I both love Sparks and I make a point of buying her one for each birthday now, which I then borrow and read after she has. The latest we've read is The Wedding, which is as melancholy and wistful as all the others, but in a different way. Instead of moving with the characters as they fall in love, struggle through tough times and end with (often sad) moving love stories, this book is a little backward and all the more enjoyable for it. 

The Wedding is the sequel to The Notebook; the lead character is married to Allie and Noah's daughter, Jane. After a long marriage, things have gone stale, and Wilson could not be less like the sentimental and romantic nature of his father-in-law. The story follows Wilson as he tries to win back his wife's heart by learning to be a little more like Jane's doting father in time for their thirtieth wedding anniversary. 

If you've ever been in a relationship that has lost its sparkle, then you'll relate to this book. At first this makes it hard to read; Wilson is clear about what has changed between he and his wife, what their marriage has become. His doubts over her love for him are sad and as a reader we worry that all his efforts will be in vain, but slowly we see glimpses of hope. 

I won't spoil it by going into too much detail; instead I will say that though the book is about a man who claims to know nothing about romance, it is one of the greatest stories of affection I've read and definitely brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion (including one rather embarrassing moment on the train home - that'll teach me to read on pubic transport). I can already see this book as a film - Sparks' description is so elaborate that you really feel like you are there, and the notorious house from The Notebook is featured which makes it even easier to imagine. Never has a sequel been so perfect.

Have you read it? What romance authors do you swear by?

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