Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Quick Pick: The Longest Ride, by Nicholas Sparks

  • Opening lines: I sometimes like to think to myself that I'm the last of my kind.

    My name is Ira Levinson. I'm a southerner and a Jew, and equally proud to have been called both at one time or another. I'm also an old man. I was born in 1920, the year that alcohol was outlawed and women were given the right to vote, and I often wondered if that was the reason my life turned out the way it did. 
  • Reason I picked up the book: I'm a big Nicholas Sparks fan, and also the movie is coming to theaters this April. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

    A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

    Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes Nicholas Sparks books as well as those who like historical fiction. The book was split between Ira's POV and Sophia's, Ira being a 90+ year old man who has been in a car crash and Sophia being a 21-year-old college senior who meets a cowboy, Luke, after a bad breakup.
  • Something to know: The movie will be out in theaters on April 10th, 2015! Just from the trailer, it looks like Luke + Sophia's "meet-cute" has been changed - she meets him at a bull-riding rodeo.
  • What I would have changed: Not sure. Some parts of the novel were a little slow, but I was interested and engaged in the novel for most of its almost-400 pages.
  • Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I buy this book? Click here.


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