The Notebook

…by Nicholas Sparks.

A story about love…the kind of love that lasts forever.

The story starts with a man spending his days reading a notebook to a woman in an elderly home. The story in the notebook is of Noah and Allie, who meet one summer during their teenage years and fall in love.  Circumstances work against them – Allie moves away and so, they part after spending that one summer together. But the memories of those few days spent in each other’s company keeps the love alive.

And after 14 years, when Noah comes back to the town, restores his old house, he is haunted by her thoughts. Allie, engaged now, realizes that she has never felt the same love for anyone like she had for Noah. So, after seeing a newspaper clipping about Noah in the paper, she returns to the town to see him one last time before her wedding.

She comes to meet Noah and the day or two that they spend together brings back the love and passion they once shared. And so comes the time for Allie to decide if she wants to go ahead with her wedding or stay back with Noah, where her heart clearly belongs, and give this relationship a second chance.

*******Spoiler Alert*******

She chooses Noah, her soul mate and they live happily ever after…until Allie is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her memory starts to fade. She has difficulty remembering even her name, let alone anything else about herself. And that is when they decide to live in the elderly home and Noah reads the story to her every morning hoping to jog her memory…hoping to bring his Allie back to normal. He doesn’t give up and there are times when his trust, everlasting love and hope take over the disease and bring her memory back. Miracle, doctor’s say…true love, Noah says.

*******End Spoiler Alert*******

So there, that’s the story in short. Now here’s how I felt about the book…

I love any heartwarming and touching story.

But two thirds of this story, I did not like much. Maybe because I don’t believe in soul mates. Maybe because I am very skeptical when it comes to eternal love. Maybe because I found this a tiny bit unrealistic given the 14 years of separation and all that. Sure that’s what makes the story special, makes their love eternal. But I can’t bring myself in terms with it. So, as far as the lovers meeting after more than a decade of separation and reaffirming that they are made for each other did not work for me.

The remaining one third is what I enjoyed. I so admired the love that Noah had for his sick wife. His relentless efforts, hope and affection did some magic. This love is so different from the one that the couple shared as youngsters. This is what I would call a mature, gentle or true love. And that’s what is special…bringing out the togetherness in the final years…being there for each other even when the worst happens…holding hands at that age…reaching that stage of love.

So overall, this book was not my type, except for the last few chapters.

But I like Sparks’ work. He keeps his stories sweet and simple, which makes for a easy and light read every once in a while. I have read another book of his – A Walk to Remember – and liked that one very much.

My rating: 3*.

*for the rating scale, click here.