Any time you pick up a Nicholas Sparks book you know you are in for a dramatic love story. What I really enjoy about his books is that whilst they are all truly romantic, none of them seem repetitive.
The Best of Me is a modern story, that starts with an introduction to Dawson. Being born, unfitting, in to a troublesome family with a bad reputation, the odds were stacked against him from the beginning. Now in his 40s, after experiencing a terrible accident on the Rigs, he now lives as a recluse in a small caravan far away from where he grew up. Never getting over his teenage romance, Dawson keeps to himself and lives a quiet, simple life.
After seeing flashes of movement and maintaining the feeling of being watched, he is wondering if he is going crazy when he receives a phone call. Tuck, an old friend from home, has passed away. Tuck has requested that Dawson return home to visit the lawyer in charge of Tucks affairs.
During flashbacks we learn of Dawson’s younger years. Running away from the family he never fit in to, seeking refuge in Tucks garage until the old man accepted him in and the love of his life Amanda. Coming from opposite sides of society, Dawson never thought he stood a chance with the beautiful girl until she herself approached him. From there it was a whirlwind romance that no one else understood – least of all Amanda’s parents. After several unsuccessful attempts to ban the couple from seeing each other, they use their last straw of threatening to cut off her college funding. Not wanting to ruin her future, Dawson ends the relationship and forces Amanda to go.
Returning to his home town of Orient is not a comfortable thing for him. It brings memories of Amanda, the danger of his old family coming after him and the horrible images of another young family that he tore apart forever.
He is uncertain and confused by Tucks requests until he arrives at the old home they shared. When another car is parked out the front and he gets out to investigate he does not immediately register that he is seeing the love of his life for the first time in many years.
Now married with 3 children, he thinks she looks just as beautiful as ever. As the two catch up, share stories and try to predict Tucks last wishes, it’s clear the chemistry has never faded. Amanda needs to decide if she is going to be led by her heart or her head.
A story that is started in long detailed chapters, gains a certain suspense and urgency toward the end as Sparks changes his style to short pockets of information, interchanging between characters.
A really heart-warming story that drives home the importance of the small choices we make on a daily basis. Nicholas Sparks once again knocks it out of the park.
Let me know what you think….