Published: 3rd July 2014
Publisher: Little Brown
Ninety-one-year-old Ira Levinson is in trouble. Struggling to stay conscious after a car crash, with his mind fading, an image of his adored – and long-dead – wife Ruth appears. Urging him to hang on, she lovingly recounts the joys and sorrows of their life together – how they met, the dark days of WWII and its unrelenting effect on their families. A few miles away, college student Sophia Danko’s life is about to change. Recovering from a break-up, she meets the young, rugged Luke and is thrown into a world far removed from her privileged school life. Sophia sees a new and tantalising future for herself, but Luke is keeping a secret that could destroy it all. Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples, separated by years and experience, whose lives are about to converge in the most unexpected – and shocking – of ways.
It’s a well known fact that I’m a fan of Nicholas Sparks and his books, so when Little Brown contacted me to be part of the #readitbeforeyousee it blog tour, I couldn’t say no and that meant rereading his latest novel which has been proudly sitting on my bookshelf.
Ninety-one year old Ira is a sweet man but he’s in a spot of trouble’ due to a maniac on the road, he’s now in a ditch and the snow is coming down thick and heavy. In the opening chapter, he tells readers about his late Father, has subconcious talks with his wife and prays he’ll somehow make it out alive. This is the beauty of a Nicholas Sparks book – you’re drawn in straight away and there is no putting the book down.
“Guys think they can talk their way out of anything.”
Four months previous to the car incident, Sophia (along with some girlfriends) decide to have a night off from thinking about the recent heartache and the best way to do that is to get out of town for the night. When they turn up at a small rodeo, Luke is there and the connection between him and Sophia is instant!
“Trust people, until they give you a reason not to. And then never turn your back.”
The description of the scenery in The Longest Ride is absolutely beautiful and it’s very hard not to be swept away in the magic of it. The locations in America are always the best of the best for the narratives and it’s by far, the one thing which I really look forward to when a new book is published.
“Hold on to that feeling. Hold on to us. And little by little, you will find a way to heal.”
Sophia and Luke are two very strong characters – quite possibly, two of my favourites from all the books. What I admired the most about them is that they were protective of one another. Sophia over Luke about his job and Luke over Sophia about her previous relationship. They care about one another and it really did show from the point where they met until the very end. Every chapter had a turning point and Ira really drew them together without them even knowing it.
“I wish I had the talent to paint the way I feel about you, for my words always feel inadequate. I imagine using red for your passion and pale blue for your kindness; forest green to reflect the depth of your empathy and bright yellow for your unflagging optimism.”
When I reread this book, I already knew how Ira came into contact with Sophia and Luke – but if you’re reading it for the first time, it will come at a complete shock because it certainly did with me. It’s a beautiful ending and I can’t wait to see how this comes across on the big screen.
UK Film Release Date: 25th May 2015