GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear…and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding—one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.
Dear Nicholas Sparks,
I know you were going through a tough marriage break up whilst writing this novel and unfortunately, it all clearly shows in this latest book of yours.
Where your novels are usually full of love and happiness of two strangers meeting and falling in love (before some tragedy occurs), this one was full of heartache from the get go.
From page one of this novel, poor Russel was telling us his story of how his marriage was clearly falling apart, as was the rest of his life too- not a very intriguing story line and it makes me wonder whether you were telling us, as your readers, the drama and hurt you have recently endured through your own marriage break up.
This novel didn’t keep me on my toes until the very end, like some of your latest ones have done. ‘See Me’ kept me reading until I had finished it to find out who was stalking her. You kept the secret right up until the end and I loved it! This one however is lacking excitement. It seems to be a very plain, normal, every day story and unfortunately also very predictable.
Whilst reading this story of Rus & Viv’s marriage break up, I feel like I am also reading about yours. I feel like you’re basically telling us why and how your marriage came to an end and how you too found yourself as a single dad. Obviously circumstances were different but also maybe the same in a round about way, maybe the hurt process which your went through.
From the half way point of the book the story was already very predictable. All aspects of his life were falling apart. He quit his awesome job that he loved because he was going to get fired anyway, so he started his own company because no one was hiring within his vicinity of residence. The new business was a flop for a long time so his poor wife who never had to lift a finger around the house since having their daughter, London, had to go and get a job.
She didn’t have to get a job if she did her own housework instead of getting in a cleaner twice a week. She wouldn’t have to get a job if she cut back on the spending, instead of ‘running errands’ every day as she called her shopping addiction. But it was all about her all the time and she endlessly made Russel feel guilty for her having to go back to work and never getting to spend enough time with London anymore.
But as I had suspected the story was leading around the half way point, it turned out I was right in the fact that Vivian kept saying she was basically forced back into the workplace to support their family, even though she actually loves being back at work and she loves her new job and it now takes priority over anything else, including her family. Also not forgetting the fact that she falls in love with her new boss and cheats on her wonderful husband who does everything in his power to make her life so easy.
More predictability was proved correct when the ex girlfriend, Emily came back in the picture. She was taking the time to listen to him and ask how his job was going. She was basically saying and doing all the things he wished his wife would say to him. It was clear he wasn’t going to cheat on Viv with Emily but it was also clear that his old feelings toward her had resurfaced.
As soon as Marge got her cough, I knew the story was leading to her having cancer, otherwise there is no reason to even mention she had a cough and the general rule is, when someone gets a cough that they can’t shake, it generally means cancer. I have been through this with loved ones before. This was the emotional twist that everyone waits for in a classic Nicholas Sparks novel and once again you came through and it turned on the waterworks for me.
As for Viv- it was clear on her intentions to go for full custody because she was being so nice to him. That can only mean she wants something from him because most of the time, she was a nasty cow. A very unfavourable character, but then again-I’m sure that was your intention for her.
As for all the grammar mistakes?! All I can ask is ‘What was your editor doing??’ Clearly not their job. If this was my novel, I would fire the editor. I have never read a book with so many errors before. It may have had one here or there but this one -I lost count around the 10th error I came across. It got very annoying by the end.
It seems this book wasn’t really looked at properly before it was printed. It seems like it was rushed to get it out on time. Very disappointing in this regard and not like any of your previous novels at all.
As for the novel in general – I did expect more from you, being my favourite author and all, knowing what you are capable of but obviously an everyday story is all you could muster given the circumstances under which you were writing.
That aside, a very good story as much as it seemed like I was reading someone’s real life biography because it was basically normal everyday issues constantly being told throughout the whole book. A nasty divorce. A sibling dying of cancer. A rekindled love. I’m sure everyone reading this book can relate to at least one of these, if not all of them.