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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Notebook

Nicholas Sparks
114 Pages

Set amid the austere beauty of the North Carolina coast, The Notebook begins with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner recently returned form the Second World War. Noah 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.

Like a puzzle within a puzzle, the story of Noah and Allie is just the 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 the fundamental changes that affect us all. It is a story of miracles and emotions that will stay with you forever.

I was kinda scared to read The Notebook. Because this book is like a canon of Nicholas Sparks’ writing and the film adaptation became a cult. So like other books that already adapted to screen, I watched the movie first. I prepared myself to the story that I expected to be complicated and very long in the book version. But you know what? I finished read the book in less than two days. Actually, I thought I can finish it in a day. How’s that possible? Read my review below :)

"The romantics would call this a love story: the cynics would call it a tragedy. In my mind it’s a little bit of both, and no matter how you choose to view it in the end, it does not change the fact that it involves a great deal of my life. I have no complaints about the path I’ve chosen to follow and the places it has taken me – the path has always been the right one. I wouldn’t have had it any other way."

An old man reads a notebook to a woman in a nursing home. He tells a story about Noah Calhoun, who returns to his hometown New Bern after the World War II. He finishes restoring his dream house and daydreaming about his summer love fourteen years ago, Allie, still haunts his days. They breaks up because of their class, Noah is just a laborer; meanwhile Allie comes from a wealthy family. Noah writes a ton of letters but no one gets answered.

In other place, Allie Hamilton sees the picture of the house in the newspaper. She tells a little lie to her fiancĂ©, Lon Hammond, Jr and going there alone. Allie and Noah’s reunion brings back good old memories. They have a dinner and talk about anything. Noah also brings Allie to a special place, somewhere they never visit together years ago. They come back to the real life by the visit of Allie’s mother.

"It wasn’t Noah she loved; she loved what they once had been. Besides, it was normal to feel this way. Her first real love, the only man she’d ever been with – how could she expect to forget him?"

If you watched the movie then read the synopsis of The Notebook above, you think something must be wrong. But in fact that’s how the story begins in the book. The story of Noah and Allie’s summer love just explained in short sentences, very brief. It is more focused on their meeting fourteen years after they are apart, when things really get complicated. It was kind of shorter and simpler than the movie. I think that’s why I finished the book so quick. Other than that, it was well written, simple yet so deep and meaningful. I can say it is ‘so Sparks’ :p

What beautiful, deep and tearful story, but still the shorten story has it flaws. The very brief explanation about Noah and Allie relationship years ago did not convince and made me believe what they have is real. I have to hold to the story in the movie and convince myself how strong their love is. Then the story of elderly couple is too detail in some unimportant things. It tells a different focus than Noah and Allie. It kind of set my mood off. The filmmaker was smart and creative enough to sense that potential and made it better on screen. Bow to you, guys!

At last, with the beautiful and well writing, The Notebook shows that anything can we reach and do with love. Both the book and the movie have its own way to tell the story. It is still beautiful and worth to read or watch. :)

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