Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Return by Nicholas Sparks

Sparks is a great story teller and this is another good novel about the power of love, both romantic love and the selfless, giving kind of love. The character development is mediocre. Each of the main characters has huge secrets that are very slowly revealed. I wondered if I would ever know what happened to Trevor in the Middle East and why he experienced PTSD. I wondered if I would ever know why Natalie was so hesitant to allow herself to love Trevor. At times I was frustrated with unexplained actions by characters and got a little impatient.

Two aspects of the book I really liked. One was the setting. I felt Sparks did an excellent job of anchoring the story in the location. I felt like I was there. I also liked learning about bees.

But I was also troubled by one aspect of the plot. Trevor and Natalie fall madly in love and after two weeks of various times together, without much of really getting to know each other, they walk hand in hand to the bedroom. I almost quit reading right there. That such a beautifully crafted love would turn almost immediately to physical desire just turned me off. By the end of the book I was satisfied with the total story but as a reader, I felt I had been deceived. I didn't like it. That scene could have certainly been rewritten so as not to be deceptive without changing the ultimate story at all.

The plot revolves around misunderstanding, past hurts, forgiveness and restoration. I felt the whole story was a bit predictable but then, that's probably why we read Sparks. We love it when everybody gets to live happily ever after. While not his best novel, it was entertaining.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Nicholas Sparks is a popular author with over 100 million copies of his books sold. His novels include fifteen #1 New York Times bestsellers. Eleven of his books have been made into motion pictures. You can find out more at https://nicholassparks.com/

Grand Central Publishing, 368 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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