Lest We Forget; ‘The Notebook’ by Nicolas Sparks

Cynical and me go way back. There is a certain happiness in misery that I find hard to separate from; it is a both a friend and an enemy. My attempts to be more positive, mainly for the people on which I inflict my despair, are menial at best; there are just some things in this world which leave my glass half empty and Romance is one of them. I do not understand the ‘magic’ of romance; while I am willing to accept that this is perhaps because it has yet to infected me, I do not think romance in real-life is as it is depicted in books the majority of the time. Romance brings unrealistic expectations that, for the most part, the other participant in-love cannot realise. Of course, there is the odd guy who uses a choir on a train to propose, but he is one in a million.Which you can see via this Guardian article They say Romance is dead; I’m not ever sure it was ever alive.

In 1932, two North Carolina teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks fall in love. Spending one idyllic summer together in the small town of New Bern, Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson do not meet again for 14 years. Noah has returned from WWII to restore the house of his dreams, having inherited a large sum of money. Allie, programmed by family and the “caste system of the South” to marry an ambitious, prosperous man, has become engaged to powerful attorney Lon Hammond. When she reads a newspaper story about Noah’s restoration project, she shows up on his porch step, re-entering his life for two days.Synopsis from Publishers Weekly via Amazon.com

Occasionally there is a book that gives you a little hope in the face of genre despair; shinning through the trash fooling your imagination with unrealistic ideals for love. I began The Notebook thinking it would be useful as a literary palate cleanser, before selecting something richer. I was pleasantly surprised.

Do not be fooled by the synopsis, I had a lot of difficulty finding one; I appear to have read a different story to whoever wrote them. Google The Notebook and you will find many descriptions focusing on the intense love of young Allie and Noah, our story’s protagonists, however, their love story is far more extensive. The Notebook is a youthful romance cocooned in the story of unintentionally lost love; the elderly Noah battling for his wife to remember him and their life together.

While Allie and Noah’s transition from youthful lust to adult love was beautiful, Noah’s fight for Allie’s memory felt more significant and beautifully told; love is easy catch but hard to maintain and Spark demonstrates this wonderfully. If I am going to subject myself to a love story I want long lasting devotion not puppy love; something that feels expendable is never as tragic as something that feels unending.

The Notebook is a sweet testament to love and even though my cynical side rolled its eyes a few times during the reading I can only praise what is a beautiful romance story.

3 thoughts on “Lest We Forget; ‘The Notebook’ by Nicolas Sparks

  1. In my opinion, “The Notebook” is the best book Nicholas Sparks ever wrote. Maybe because it was before he was this big romance author. But now all his books are written for the screen which makes them so superficial. But “The Notebook”… that is such a great story told that makes you believe hat romance isn’t dead and that you can find your own Noah someday and live a beautiful story. Like you I have yet to experience all of that.

    Have you read “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov?


    1. I’m wary of reading more by Sparks just because The Notebook was so lovely, I don’t want a bad book to taint my feelings for it.

      I’ve not read Lolita, no. It’s on my to read list though!


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