Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sarah's Review of A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks


So after reading my very first Nicholas Sparks book a few months ago, The Best of Me, I decided that I loved his writing style and picked up another one. Yes, I know, where have I been? Everyone asks me that, and as an avid reader I have no excuses, other than the fact that no one had ever recommended one of his books before. Crazy, I know! Anyways, the book I picked up was his book, A Bend in the Road. Quite a story about morals and love, what is right and wrong, and forgiveness.

The story begins with the story of a deputy sheriff and his son. Miles Ryan is a deputy sheriff in New Bern, North Carolina whose life was turned upside down two years prior after his wife, Missy, was killed in a hit and run accident which left Miles as a single parent to his son, Jonah. The case was never solved. They never found out who did it and Miles has poured over the case for two years trying to find the person who did it and bring them to justice.
Miles's son, Jonah, is in second grade and that is where we meet Sarah Andrews. She is her teacher, and she has just moved to New Bern to be closer to her parents while trying to heal from a devastating divorce. She reaches out to Miles after she notices that Jonah is falling behind his peers in class and quickly learns about their past. They end up becoming friends and while reaching for help from one another they quickly find themselves falling in love. Something neither of them thought was possible. Unfortunately fate has a way of intervening and weaving their lives together in a shocking way which leaves them to wonder if their love is strong enough to withstand this secret.

Sparks brings his characters to life with his rich descriptives and fluid story telling. We see how one small thing can irrevocably change the course of our lives. It's up to us as to whether we will be stronger from life's tragedies or if it will consume us.

Sparks takes the approach of writing from various different viewpoints, which helps the reader get a bigger grasp on each character's lives and the tragedies that they are dealing with individually. We even get a glimpse into the conscious mind of the person who caused the accident and with this we are able to sympathise with them. This story is a good example of how quick we are to judge others, based on just circumstantial evidence, without knowing the whole story. We need to remember that everyone else is dealing with things in their own world, and what we see on the outside isn't the whole truth. We shouldn't jump to conclusions. Sometimes we get so caught up in one thing that we fail to see what else is going on around us. For example, Miles is so caught up in his tragedy of losing his wife and trying to figure out what happened, that he fails to realize that he is distancing himself from his son as well, at a time where he needs him the most. Sometimes the hardest things to do is to let things go.

Sparks makes us really consider our own morality and what is right and wrong, not only in the law but in our own beliefs. Is forgiveness something we are able to give? Can we really let go of something that's been our driving force for two years? And is love strong enough to withstand even the greatest of obstacles? We are forced to look inside ourselves at our own values and upbringings and evaluate what we would do had we been forced into that situation.

A Bend in the Road is a great story that allows us to look deeper within our own lives from the comfort of our homes and to reflect and be thankful for all that we have.

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