Jan 26, 12
Read in December, 2006
I am not a romantic person, thus not a romance reader. But just to try something new:
Overall, this book was funny, entertaining, heart-throbbing, suspenseful, and so real. It will make your heart hammer against your ribcage, cry ponds of tears, and leap for joy. Julie loses her beloved husband Jim, and four months later she receives a puppy (whom she names Singer, for personal reasons) and a note. The note contained a promise from Jim to always watch over her.
This is a touching love story of death and a leap of faith. The beginning of the story was very slow and didn't get my full attention, however, as the story progressed, it was hard to put it down! Sparks describes the events and characters so vividly, it's hard not to feel like you're there, suffering and laughing with his characters. My favourite character is Mike. He’s a strong willed, nice, funny, and committed. I could relate to him more than the others. Julie was portrayed as your everyday damsel in distress, so vulnerable and broken after the death of her husband. This story was easily predictable and the odd supernatural twist in the end was unexpected, and inexplicable.
What I liked the most was the consistency of the characters and their attitudes toward different events that occur throughout the book, and the suspense and dread it built up as the story continued. What I disliked the most was the ending, it was not exactly what I expected. "Physical" true love wasn't what shined through in the end or saved the day, it was more mystical and spiritual. Which seems odd and out of place when the story never mentioned anything about spirituality or "heavenly beliefs". Anyway, despite this small inconsistency, the story came full circle (spoilers: please refer to the note).
The characters were fleshed out quite nicely, each one having their own story in which their personalities are based off. The major theme, as in almost all of Sparks' novels, is the power to overcome any tragedy with love. It's a very traditional theme, in my opinion, because it reinforces known moral conducts and attitudes. The elements of mystery and suspense were gripping, unlike his other novels. The intellectual quality of his storytelling excels in every aspect and the dialogue was very effective. In fact, the dialogue he created was one of my favourite aspects of the book.
my fondest valedictory,