The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
(Grand Central Publishing, 2013, 398 pages)
In the tradition of his beloved first novel, The Notebook, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways.
Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
I’ve been a longtime fan of Sparks and I was not disappointed with this one. I enjoy reading his books, and The Longest Ride was a very good read! This was a believable book about love. I didn’t want to put the book down once I started reading. It had me laughing and crying. The format was a little different from how he usually writes, but the story was beautiful. As usual, the importance of love and priorities tied things together, and were especially appropriate in this book. I liked how he was able to take the reader from one character’s viewpoint to another, which made the book that much more interesting. I was pleasantly surprised with the ending, which made it that much more enjoyable. I would definitely recommend reading it if you’re Sparks fan. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. 🙂