The bestselling author of Message in a Bottle and The Notebook returns with a deeply moving tale of first love and its transformational powers.
"When I was seventeen, my life changed forever"... So begins Nicholas Sparks' touching tale of Landon Carter, a teenage boy living in the small town of Beaufort, North Carolina in the late 1950s. Landon is a typical teenager who just wants to have a fun senior year before heading off to college. The last thing he anticipated is Jamie Sullivan, the sweet, pious daughter of the town's Baptist minister. But on the evening of Beaufort's annual Christmas pageant, Landon will undergo a change of heart that will forever alter the course of his life. In the months that follow, Landon discovers truths that it takes most people a lifetime to learn- truths about the nature of beauty, the joy of giving, the pain of loss, and, most of all, the transformational power of love.
Nicholas Sparks' most recent novel, Message in a Bottle has nearly 700,000 hardcover copies in print and was on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list for 28 weeks. The Warner paperback edition has over 1.5 million copies in print. In spring 1999, it was released as a major motion picture starring Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn and Paul Newman. A New York Times hardcover bestseller for 56 weeks and a paperback bestseller for well over a year, Nicholas Sparks' first novel, The Notebook (1996) has nearly three million hardcover and paperback copies in print combined.
From the Hardcover edition.
In the prologue to his latest novel, Nicholas Sparks makes the rather presumptuous pledge "first you will smile, and then you will cry," but sure enough, he delivers the goods. With his calculated ability to throw your heart around like a yo-yo (try out his earlier Message in the Bottle
or The Notebook
if you really want to stick it to yourself), Sparks pulls us back to the perfect innocence of a first love.
In 1958 Landon Carter is a shallow but well-meaning teenager who spends most of his time hanging out with his friends and trying hard to ignore the impending responsibilities of adulthood. Then Landon gets roped into acting the lead in the Christmas play opposite the most renowned goody two-shoes in town: Jamie Sullivan. Against his best intentions and the taunts of his buddies, Landon finds himself falling for Jamie and learning some central lessons in life.
Like John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, Sparks maintains a delicate and rarely seen balance of humor and sentiment. While the plot may not be the most original, this boy-makes-good tearjerker will certainly reel in the fans. Look for a movie starring beautiful people or, better yet, snuggle under the covers with your tissues nearby and let your inner sap run wild. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien