I just finished The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. After all the heavy reading I did over the last couple of semesters, I decided my mind could use some vegging out. So I bought this at the airport a week or so ago. The movie has been recommended to me on more than one occasion, but the movie cover just looks so sappy with that scene of the couple kissing in the rain. The book cover is now taken from the movie and looks equally sappy, but I'll take sappy book over sappy movie anyday.
It's the story of Allie and Noah; two people who meet and fall in summertime love as teenagers. But they are never ever to shake that summer and go through their young adult dating lives comparing partners to that first love. Eventually, Allie gets engaged to Lon, a highly successful town lawyer. But she's never gotten Noah out of her mind, and when she runs across a news article about Noah being back in New Bern, she decides to make a trip there... just to see.
Well, you can guess the rest.
It is a true American love story. As my former sister-n-law would say, "Tipicna Americana." (Typical American). There are no real stomach twisting moments. Our protagonists do just what we'd want them to do. And even troubles are semi-resolved with idealistic miracles.
This over the top idealism is both a fault and a strength of the novel. It's what made me role my eyes as I kept turning the pages. It's what I want to believe in because I don't believe in it. It's love concurs all; we do have soulmates; happily ever after is possible; -- all rolled into one.
So if you need to believe in that kind of love, or just need to pretend to believe in that kind of love, pick up The Notebook.