cover image Dreamland


Nicholas Sparks. Random House, $28.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-44955-4

Bestseller Sparks (The Wish) serves up a sentimental romance between a farmer with a tragic past and a musician with lofty ambitions. Overworked Colby Mills, 25, is on a brief vacation from his North Carolina farm and indulging in his true passion, music, by playing gigs at a bar in St. Petersburg, Fla., when he meets 21-year-old Morgan Lee, a recent college grad heading to Nashville to make it big. Their chemistry sparks immediately, underpinned by their shared love of music, and they embark on a romance. But when tragedy strikes for Colby, and Morgan achieves life-changing success, their path to happily ever after becomes unexpectedly bumpy. Woven throughout is a suspenseful subplot about a woman named Beverly who is fleeing an abusive marriage with her young son, Tommie. While it’s slightly jarring in the beginning, the story line’s connection to Colby and Morgan evaentually comes into beautiful, heartbreaking clarity. As ever, Sparks brings the melodrama, but his empathetic characters and their down-to-earth personalities make it easy to get immersed in this world. Readers who love epic romantic sagas will want to snap this up. (Sept.)