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A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks – A Beautiful Book

July 10, 2011
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

In the prologue to his latest novel, Nicholas Sparks makes the rather presumptuous pledge first you will smile, and then you will cry, but sure enough, he delivers the goods. With his calculated ability to throw your heart around like a yo-yo (try out his earlier Message in the Bottle or The Notebook if you really want to stick it to yourself), Sparks pulls us back to the perfect innocence of a first love.

In 1958 Landon Carter is a shallow but well-meaning teenager who spends most of his time hanging out with his friends and trying hard to ignore the impending responsibilities of adulthood. Then Landon gets roped into acting the lead in the Christmas play opposite the most renowned goody two-shoes in town: Jamie Sullivan. Against his best intentions and the taunts of his buddies, Landon finds himself falling for Jamie and learning some central lessons in life.

Like John Irvings A Prayer for Owen Meany, Sparks maintains a delicate and rarely seen balance of humor and sentiment. While the plot may not be the most original, this boy-makes-good tearjerker will certainly reel in the fans. Look for a movie starring beautiful people or, better yet, snuggle under the covers with your tissues nearby and let your inner sap run wild. –Nancy R.E. OBrien

The Story (Though Familiar) Works Well And Is Memorable
In the prologue to A Walk To Remember, Nicholas Sparks makes the rather presumptuous pledge first you will smile, and then you will cry, but sure enough, this rings true and he delivers that exactly. A beautiful example of first love that will emotionally move you.

In a flashback taking more than 40 years, 57-year-old Landon Carter spirits himself back to his fateful senior year in high school in Beaufort, N.C., when he was an archetypal troublemaking teenager of the 1950s, changed forever by an unexpected first love. Jamie Sullivan, the Bible-toting ministers daughter, with her drab brown sweaters, spinster hairstyle and sincere, beatific advice, is the obvious target of high school ridicule. Despite conspiring in Jamies derision, class president Landon, desperate for a date for the homecoming dance, finds himself asking Jamie. Afterwards, Jamie asks him to participate with her in the school Christmas play and forms an uneasy friendship with Jamie. However he soon falls hopelessly in love with her which he thought impossible.

The book is beautifully written and the characters are very well developed. Jamie Sullivans character is one which should be in books more often. You will find yourself encouraging the relationship. In my opinion, this is the authors most simple, formulaic, and blatantly melodramatic package to date. The last 50 pages of this book will bring you to tears, that I promise you.

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A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

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