Release Date: September 8, 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
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Seventeen year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father… until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts… and heal them.
At the beginning of the book, I thought I knew the story before I read it. A lot of the books I read are becoming too predictable, but this wasn't one of them. You sense right away that there's something vital to the story missing that you only discover later on. I guessed right, but there were so many things going on that I either forgot and/or didn't want to think about it until I was forced to.
My favourite character was Jonah, Ronnie's brother. He's not a main characters, but he's such a cool kid and I love the way he thinks. Even though I tend to smile when I read something funny, this time I caught myself laughing out loud. He added a light-heartedness that was needed, especially with Ronnie being so angry.
There was a lot more to Ronnie than the image I had of her for a while. Will saw that before I did, even when I saw that moment he knew there was more to her through his eyes. He's also more than what I thought he would be (a pretty face with a bright future).
The book is told from four different perspectives, but mainly the daughter, Ronnie. Switching perspectives doesn't always work out, but it did this time and made me feel more involved in the story. The last couple of chapters I had a constant lump in my throat and had to put the book down to pull myself together.