The Best of Me

Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central, $25.99 (292p) ISBN 978-0-446-54765-9
Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole are from opposite sides of the tracks: she's a well-to-do girl with the world at her fingertips; he's from the feared family of sleazy, violent neighborhood thugs. Cut from different cloth than his clan, Dawson breaks free to live in the garage of an old mechanic deep in the woods. Soon Amanda and Dawson cross paths and find themselves smitten, certain they will see happily-ever-after. With the lovers torn apart by circumstance, Sparks (The Notebook) develops a charming story where each scene unwinds as if in slow-motion and the emotions of each moment garner maximum impact. Reunited after decades apart, the lovers' passion remains evident, and they struggle with whether to finally give in to their love or continue their current lives without each other. Despite an obvious ending, the love is so heartwarming that it doesn't seem to matter. Sparks's ability to capture the truths of this affair makes the story both heartfelt and heartbreaking. It's quite possibly his best work in years. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/21/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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