Monday, November 2, 2020

The Return - Nicholas Sparks

The Return is the newest novel from Nicholas Sparks. And for faithful readers of Sparks (me included), The Return is another read in the style we've come to enjoy.

Trevor Benson was a doctor in the Navy, but was bombed in Afghanistan, suffering severe injuries himself. As he's recuperating, he learns his beloved grandfather has passed on. And he's left Trevor his cabin in a small town in North Carolina. What better place to recuperate?

Trevor was a very likable lead. His inner dialogue is thoughtful and considered. In addition to his physical injuries, he's also battling PTSD. I think Sparks did a great job detailing this condition, as well as the ways that Trevor uses to cope. Trevor meets Deputy Natalie Masterson in New Bern and the spark he feels for her is undeniable. Could she feel the same? Natalie too seems to be one of the walking wounded, harboring secrets she doesn't want to share. There's one more lost soul that Trevor crosses paths with. Callie is an enigmatic teenager who lives in the trailer park down the road. It seems she was friends with Trevor's grandfather, but doesn't want much to do with Trevor. 

How will the lives of these three characters interact? In the trademark way we've come to expect from Sparks. Loss, grief, acceptance, love, hope, faith and fate entwine the fates of Natalie, Trevor and Callie together. I enjoyed the plotlines that Sparks uses to tell this story. We don't have the full story until the end of the book is coming up. I enjoyed the slow, thoughtful, measured pace that Sparks uses to tell this story. Mystery, romance and more are knit together into a comforting read. I enjoy the detailed descriptions that bring the setting to life.

Bees also play a part in The Return. I have to say, I learned quite a bit about beekeeping as well.

The Return is the perfect read for those days when you want to just want to curl up with a good book and a pot of tea. And believe in love. And as with many other Sparks books, I can see this one as a movie. 

See for yourself - here's an excerpt of The Return.  And this was fun to discover - the dust jacket has a flip side, portraying a winter snow covered porch with a Happy Holidays tag. If you're gifting it for Christmas, make sure to flip the picture.

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