This is Nicholas Sparks's tenth novel. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and children.
Here is a first novel that many people are banking on: the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club are featuring it as a main selection and film, foreign, and serial rights are already sold. At 80, Noah Calhoun reads daily from a notebook containing the love story of Noah and Allie. We learn of the teenaged lovers, their 14-year separation and reunion in New Bern, North Carolina, just weeks before Allie is to marry another man. Back in the present, we learn that Noah and Allie did marry and were happy for more than 40 years. Now, they are residents of a nursing home, separated both by rooms and, more profoundly, by Allie's Alzheimer's. Noah's daily reading from the notebook is not to himself; he reads aloud to Allie, hoping that the power of their love story will reach her. Noah's coping mechanisms as an old man are exceptional, and the novel's format, focusing just on the dual beginnings of their love story and its denouement, is intriguing. This is a more romantic testament to love's enduring miracle than Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County (LJ 3/1/92) because the Calhouns chose the rigors of daily domestic life over a dream of four days. For all popular collections. [Previewed in Preppub Alert, LJ 6/15/96.]‘Rebecca S. Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
'"Somewhere," muses Noah Calhoun, while sitting on his porch in the moonight, "there were people making love." Anyway, head elsewhere for Great Literature, but if you're in the market to get your heartstrings plucked, look no further. The Notebook, a Southern-fried story of love-lost-and-found-again, revolves around a single time-honored romantic dilemma: will beautiful Allison Nelson stay with Mr. Respectability (to whom she happens to be engaged), or will she hook up with Noah, the romantic rascal she left so many years ago? We're not telling, but you have two guesses and the first one doesn't count. Decades later, after Allison develops Alzheimer's, her beau uses "the notebook" to read her the story of the great love she's plumb forgot. The Notebook--film rights already sold, thank you very much--is a little glazed doughnut of a book: sticky- sweet, satisfying, not much nourishment. But who cares? Take an extra vitamin and indulge.' - Amazon.com 'Achingly moving and will have you weeping for the joy and tragedy of it all' - Daily Mail
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. Will Allie leave Lon for Noah? The book's slim dimensions and cliché-ridden prose will make comparisons to The Bridges of Madison County inevitable. What renders Sparks's (Wokini: A Lakota Journey of Happiness and Self-Understanding) sentimental story somewhat distinctive are two chapters, which take place in a nursing home in the '90s, that frame the central story. The first sets the stage for the reading of the eponymous notebook, while the later one takes the characters into the land beyond happily ever after, a future rarely examined in books of this nature. Early on, Noah claims that theirs may be either a tragedy or a love story, depending on the perspective. Ultimately, the judgment is up to readers‘be they cynics or romantics. For the latter, this will be a weeper. Major ad/promo; first serial to Good Housekeeping; movie rights to New Line Cinema; Warner Audio; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections. (Oct.)