It’s that time of the year again when I would endlessly talk about Nicholas Sparks and his new book. If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you already know that Nicholas Sparks is my favorite author and I’ve read each and every one of his books. I am a great fan of his since I was twelve years old and never did I ever get tired reading his works. Every year, I anticipate the release of his new book and will continue to do so until time could tell. You see what I did there? I would ramble about Nicholas Sparks for hours without getting bored or anything. But enough about that. The Longest Ride is his latest book and I will be discussing it in a short while.
Here’s the synopsis from the back cover of the book:
Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old 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 reminiscing about their lifetime together. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories.
A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, 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. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes are high: Reward and ruin – and 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 – if the secret Luke’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.
I bought the book during the Manila International Book Fair that happened last year. I didn’t actually expect that the book will be displayed during the event because it wasn’t the release date yet, as it was still a few days shy of the official date. So, the moment I saw the book, I immediately bought a copy. I’m so glad that the local bookstores release Nicholas Sparks’ books on time. The only thing I’m disappointed at is that they don’t have the hardcover editions of the book, but rather, only the paperback editions. I had a hard time accepting this reality at first because as OC as I can be, I want all his books to be in hardcover editions. But as time passed, I slowly came to accept that I can happily settle for the paperback editions.
Going back to the story, The Longest Ride centers on the lives of two couples – Ira and Ruth, Luke and Sophia – from the day they first meet up until the very end. The book is actually narrated in three different points of view: Ira, Luke, and Sophia. At the beginning, readers are already introduced to Ira and how he gets into an accident. Alone and old, and in the middle of a snow storm, getting out alive seems to be an impossible scenario. But then, Ruth’s ghost and his memories of her miraculously keep him alive despite his current condition. And now, there’s Luke and Sophia, two twenty-something adults who surprisingly find themselves falling in love with each other in spite of their differences. How Ira and Luke and Sophia cross paths is quite a mystery to me and I’m eager to find out how Nicholas Sparks would go about the story.
And just like that, I devoured the book in just two days. Nicholas Sparks’ books always have that effect on me. His writing style has made me become so engrossed in the story, letting me savor each word and fall in love with the characters as well. On the other hand, I guess it’s also because of this characterization that helps me connect with his characters easily. For a change, Nicholas Sparks provides us with two love stories of two different couples and we are able to witness how love grows and strengthens their relationships and how it affects their actions and decisions in life.
It’s impressive to see that Nicholas Sparks successfully makes the stories of Ira and Ruth, and Luke and Sophia become so engaging that I find myself having a hard time putting down the book. His portrayal of the characters and the way he presents the conflicts faced by them are so realistic that I often nod in agreement with what the characters think and do. Moreover, I guess it’s also because of their maturity and values in life that I could easily understand and relate to them, especially in the case of Luke and Sophia. I love how they come to embrace their differences and deal with the possible issues that may arise in the future. I may not be a fan of cowboys, but who knew I would still end up enjoying this book so much?
Once again, Nicholas Sparks is at his best – The Longest Ride does not disappoint. The storyline is dealt with much depth and the lives of these imperfectly perfect characters could definitely reach into the hearts and souls of the readers. That’s what undeniably happened to me. Nicholas Sparks never fails to capture my heart through his books. I have certainly learned a lot about love in his books, especially this one, and it gives me hope that true love still exists. The Longest Ride has taught me how love plays a major role in our lives and how it keeps us grounded and alive and how one’s love story would surprisingly affect the other. I would never ask for a better ending than this. The Longest Ride literally keeps me glued to the seat from the beginning all the way to the end. Ira and Ruth, and Luke and Sophia’s love stories will surely stay with me forever. At the end of the day, all I can say is that: I also understand you, Ira.