Publisher: Grand Central
Format: hardcover, purchased
Buy Links: Amazon | B&N
In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for each other seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. A loner from a violent and infamous local family, Dawson believed his love for Amanda promised and escape from the darker destiny laid out for him. A golden girl from a well-to-do family with plans to attend Duke University, Amanda saw something in Dawson that spoke to her own rebellious and passionate heart. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.
Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined...and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew - about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear - was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the court of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?
First, I have to say that Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorite authors and I love everything he writes. Unfortunately, this book was not his best. While I still really enjoyed it, to me, it doesn't compare to some of his other work.
I loved Amanda and Dawson, and thought their story had so much potential! They come from two completely different families; Amanda's is a well-known family that has been in Oriental for years; Dawson's family is rough around the edges (quite an understatement, actually). But they have a strong connection and enjoy a beautiful summer together at the home of Tuck Hostetler, who struggles with his own demons, but enjoys the company of the two young kids. I really loved the story line of this book, but about halfway through, it fell a little flat. I wasn't sure where the book was going. Thankfully, it picked up a lot within the last 30 pages or so. Without spoiling this for others, the book has a sad ending, but so many happy things come from it. Overall, it just had a different feel to it than Sparks' other books. That being said, I still think it deserves a good 4 out of 5 stars (: