by Nicholas Sparks
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Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: February 24th 2015
Genre: Adult Fiction | Romance | Chick Lit
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Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health 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 recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local rodeo, 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, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- 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 -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’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: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart. (Goodreads)
I am not a huge Nicholas Sparks fan. I find his books to be either hit or miss for me. There have been a few that I have really enjoyed, and a few that I have not enjoyed so much, much like the last book that I read of his. However, I found The Longest Ride to be a very enjoyable read, and I will have to admit, it’s definitely one of the more liked books for me.
There are two completely different, yet somewhat alike, stories in the novel. One story is about Ira and Ruth, the other is about Luke and Sophia. While the lives of these couples are so completely different, while you read the book, you start to realize how similar they really are. And in the end, they intertwine in the most wonderful of ways.
While I enjoyed Luke and Sophie’s story, which takes place in the present day and was super romantic, I also enjoyed Ira and Ruth’s story, with is told through the past, on their journey from when they first meet and fall in love, to up to the time when they are old and gray. I appreciated their story so much more, because I felt I really got to know so much more about them. That being said, Luke and Sophia’s story was just as great, and had more of a romantic quality to it.
To be honest, I was really, really worried about how this book was going to end. The last book I read by Sparks’ had a bit of a disappointing ending for me, one that caught me off guard and I didn’t enjoy it at all. So I worried about the end of The Longest Ride. Thankfully, it’s a good ending, and while I would have loved just one more chapter from Ira, I love how everything came together in the end.
Overall; for me, this is one of Spark’s better books. I enjoyed it. I’m not sure I would have even picked up the book if it weren’t for all the hype about the movie, which I’m definitely curious to see, mostly because Scott Eastwood is playing Luke. *Yum*. But I am glad that I did read the book, it’s made me even more excited for the movie.