They were teenage sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks – with a passion that would change their lives for ever. But life would force them apart.
Years later, the lines they had drawn between past and present are about to slip …Called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter when they needed it most, they are faced with each other once again, and forced to confront the paths they chose. Can true love ever rewrite the past?
I must start this review by being completely honest, after I watched the film version of The Notebook I borrowed a pile of books by Nicholas Sparks keen to catch up with everything he’d written. I made it a few chapters into one of the books (I don’t remember which one now) and decided he wasn’t actually a writer for me and gave up. In the years since I’ve heard so many people raving about how brilliant his books are that when I was offered a copy of The Best of Me to review I thought I probably ought to give him another go, maybe I’d been too young to appreciate him before or maybe when I tried one of his books before I was just in a grump.
The Best of Me starts out with Dawson and Amanda both making their way back to their hometown, they’ve been summoned by a lawyer after Tuck, their old friend and father figure, died. We quickly get a look at both of these characters, and learn a little about the person they were and how their lives have ended up. I found them both intriguing characters, particularly Dawson.
Whilst we only got to see Tuck through the eyes and memories of Dawson and Amanda I found that I really liked him as a character. I think I would have enjoyed reading a book about the younger Dawson and Amanda, and their relationship with each other and with Tuck.
The final third of the book felt to me quite different to the first two thirds. Characters who had not been featured very much start to take a more significant role and the narrative switches between them all quite rapidly. The twists and turns of the last few chapters unfortunately didn’t work for me, they meant the ending was very neat and tidy, and I saw them coming.
So, did I enjoy it? Yes, absolutely. Did I love it? No, the ending wasn’t really my cup of tea. Will I be reading more by Nicholas Sparks? Yes, I can see that my first experience with his books was not a true representation of them and I shall certainly be picking up some of his other books.
The publishers of The Best Of Me have offered 5 bookplates signed by Nicholas Sparks for a giveway. So if you’d like to win one please leave a pick me comment. The giveaway closes at midnight (BST) on Sunday 23rd October, and is open to UK entrants only.
The Best Of Me is published in paperback by Sphere in the UK priced £12.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.