Book Review: The Notebook

The Notebook
Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook # 1
ISBN 9780553816716
227 pages



Thirty-one year old Noah Calhoun returns to New Bern, North Carolina after the Second World War. There, he spends his time restoring a house and pining for his childhood sweetheart, Allie. Few month away from getting married to Lon, Allie decides to see Noah after she saw a feature of the house in the newspaper.

Allie and Noah see each other again and their fourteen years of separation dissolves, their summer romance rekindling. Allie has to choose between the man she promised to marry and the man she never stopped loving.

An elderly Noah narrates this fourteen-year love affair to an old woman (obviously Allie, his wife) who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease in hope that she will remember.

The Notebook is a hollow, unfulfilling, cliché-ridden work of fiction that reads more like a long synopsis than a short novel. It could have been more interesting if Nicholas Sparks has filled the readers Noah’s war experiences, traumas and fears; his days spent without Allie; how he kept going because of his undying love for Allie. The readers have to just take Noah’s word for his love with nothing much to show for it.

Everyone gets tired of the mother who hides love letter from her daughter. Nothing could be more trite. The dialogs are of the soap opera kind–boring and unoriginal:

“I think I loved you more that summer than I ever loved anyone.”

“I’d never met anyone like you. I didn’t know what to say.”

“You had the most wonderful eyes I’d ever seen.”

“I hope you know how much you mean to me, and how special this year has been. No man is more blessed than me, and I love you with all my heart.

I don’t like how that characters are seemingly perfect. Noah, handsome, muscular and unchanged by the war; Lon, the successful and forgiving lawyer who just walks away when he finds out that his fiancée wants another man; Allie’s mother who gets away clean when she surrendered the 14-year old letters to both Allie and Noah; Allie, beautiful and loved by everyone.

Nicholas Sparks deprives you of rich emotional experience that you would expect from a romance novel. If you want a real taste of romance, watch the movie instead or better yet find a different book to read.


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