Nicholas Sparks’ Novel The Notebook Book Review, Synopsis

 The Notebook Book Review


The Notebook
is a contemporary love story set in the period of Pre and Post World war II.
The story revolves around Noah and Allie who spend one summer together when
they were still young and carefree.


The Notebook is a poignant story of true and unending love in its purest form, and the power and magic of love to defy all
odds. It begins with an elderly man, sitting by his wife’s bedside, reading her
a story. From there, we travel back in time to when star-crossed lovers Noah
and Allie met as teenagers in 1932 and spent one magical summer together. They
were from opposite sides of the tracks. 



Allie was from a well-to-do family with
political connections, and Noah was more or less a nobody. An aristocratic type
system still prevailed in the South, so Allie’s family didn’t approve of a
match with Noah and the two were separated for fourteen years. Noah moved to
New Jersey where he worked for several years before joining the Army and
heading for Europe to fight in WWII. 



Allie went to college, abandoned her
artwork of which her parents did not approve, and eventually became engaged to
an attorney of whom they did approve. Over the years, neither was able to
forget the other. Noah has had no successful relationships since, because the
ghost of the time he spent with Allie still haunts him, and deep down, Allie
knows there is something missing in her relationship with her fiancé.



Neither really knows what became of the other until Allie sees a
picture of Noah in a local newspaper just three weeks before her wedding.
Seeing him again, stirs memories and emotions, and even though she doesn’t
really know why at the time, she is compelled to go see him in person one last
time before getting married. She tells her family and fiancé that she needs to
get away from the stress of wedding planning and heads for New Bern alone. Noah
can hardly believe his eyes when the woman of his dreams pulls up in front of
his house one day out of the blue. 



The longing and desire between Noah and
Allie
is extremely moving and palpable and hasn’t dimmed one bit in fourteen
long years. I love how they slip right back into a comfortable relationship as
though they’ve never been apart. It’s obvious that they’re soul mates and
perfect for each other, and in their heart of hearts, they know it too. After
only one evening with Noah, Allie knows that what they share is something she’s
never had with her fiancé and never will.



At the point when Allie must make her fateful decision about which
man she is going to choose, the story cuts back to the elderly man and his wife
who we discover has Alzheimer’s. This part of the book is so powerful and
affecting, I read parts of it through a blur of tears. The lengths to which
this man goes to help his wife remember the love they share is moving beyond
words, an expression of a true and pure love. 



The way he romances her and gets
her to fall in love with him over and over again and persists in doing it day
after day, never giving up even when it doesn’t always turn out the way he
hopes is potent stuff, so much so that I’m sitting here crying my eyes out
while writing this. It’s the kind of love I think we all hope for, but so few
seem to actually achieve.



Many readers seem to categorize The Notebook as
romance
, but I don’t see it as such. For me, romance as a genre, usually only
follows the couple through the falling in love stages of the relationship with
the happily ever after implied. It taps into the fantasy of what we want love
to be, while 
The Notebook takes that one step further. Not
only do we get to see the beginnings of a relationship, we also get to see one
very advanced in years, but no less passionate for the passage of time. It also
takes a more realistic look at what it truly means to love someone. It’s not
just the gooey feeling we get when first falling in love or the sexual desire
that soon follows. It’s something that can last a lifetime when nurtured and a
couple is fully committed to one another. Make no mistake, 
The
Notebook
 is very romantic, but to me it is not merely a romance, but
a love story.



The Notebook Synopsis


A
man with a faded, well-worn notebook open in his lap. A woman experiencing a
morning ritual she doesn’t understand. Until he begins to read to
her.  The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the
enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever.
Set amid the austere beauty of coastal North Carolina in 1946, The Notebook
begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner returned home from
World War II


Noah, thirty-one, is restoring a plantation home to its former
glory, and he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met fourteen years
earlier, a girl he loved like no other. Unable to find her, yet unwilling to
forget the summer they spent together, Noah is content to live with only
memories. . . until she unexpectedly returns to his town to see him once again.
Allie Nelson, twenty-nine, is now engaged to another man, but realizes that the
original passion she felt for Noah has not dimmed with the passage of time. 


Still, the obstacles that once ended their previous relationship remain, and the
gulf between their worlds is too vast to ignore. With her impending marriage
only weeks away, Allie is forced to confront her hopes and dreams for the
future, a future that only she can shape. Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the
story of Noah and Allie is just beginning. As it unfolds, their tale
miraculously becomes something different, with much higher stakes. 


The result
is a deeply moving portrait of love itself, the tender moments, and fundamental
changes that affect us all. Shining with a beauty that is rarely found in
current literature, The Notebook establishes Nicholas Sparks as a
classic storyteller with a unique insight into the only emotion that really
matters.

~~~~~*~~~~~

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