Every Breathby Published 16 Oct 2018
|Publisher||Grand Central Publishing|
In the romantic tradition of The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with a story about a chance encounter that becomes a touchstone for two vastly different individuals -- transcending decades, continents, and the bittersweet workings of fate.
Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she's been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family's cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.
Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother's early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.
Illuminating life's heartbreaking regrets and enduring hope, EVERY BREATH explores the many facets of love that lay claim to our deepest loyalties -- and asks the question, How long can a dream survive?
"Every Breath" Reviews
What a beautiful story. It just shows you how small the world can be at times. Once I started reading it, I didn’t stop. A quick one sitting read.
One thing I thoroughly enjoyed about this one was Nicholas Sparks’ personal words within the book. It really indicated how moved he was by the true story that inspired him in writing this book. It was lovely. There’s really no other way to put it.
My quick and simple overall: devastatingly beautiful ok so many fronts.
The king of contemporary romance fiction returns with a brand new love story titled, Every Breath. This is a love at first sight classic romance, that sees destiny play a huge role in shaping the lives of two individuals, Tru and Hope. Sparks describes his latest novel as ‘a classic story of lovers long denied’. I think this quote perfectly summarises what you can expect when you pick up Every Breath.
The latest novel from Nicholas Sparks begins with Tru, a guide from Zimbabwe, who is called the US on a relatively short trip to connect with his biological father and learn more about his mother before his father passes away. Alongside Tru’s story is Hope Anderson’s journey. Hope is a woman who is unsure of where her life is going. She is in a relationship that doesn’t seem to be progressing, or making her happy. She also is faced with some tough choices in North Carolina, where she is visiting her ill father. Every Breath is the heart pounding story of how these two strangers fall quickly and deeply in love, but they face immense complications. A decision is made and the two go their separate ways, living on opposite sides of the world and inhabiting very different life paths.
It is always a comfort to return to the writing of an author that you have followed for some time. I first began my love affair with the work of Nicholas Sparks back in 2012, where I read book after book of his work. I do suspect that my interest in his work began prior to 2012, when I first read The Notebook, a timeless love story. In Every Breath, the latest novel from Nicholas Sparks, we are reminded why he rules the roost in terms of contemporary romance. I can’t think of another male author that is able to capture to heart, feelings and emotions that Nicholas Sparks seems to so easily convey through the pages of his novel.
So this time around, Every Breath introduces two protagonists who have their own troubles and colourful back stories. For Tru, his life in Zimbabwe really makes this novel stand out. The sequences featuring Tru’s life in Africa had me utterly entranced. Sparks does an excellent job of bringing this country to the pages of his novel. I felt like I had been transported to Zimbabwe in these scenes and many times I imagined myself standing there right beside Tru. This is perhaps an indication of the research Sparks has undertaken on this part of the world and his true passion for Africa. Then we have Hope. I enjoyed Hope’s story and I genuinely liked her as character. There were a few choices that she made that didn’t quite stick well with me, but I feel in the spirit of the book, it did work well. Through Hope, Sparks explores medical issues and an illness (I won’t say much more as I wish to avoid spoilers). I thought this aspect of the novel was handled with sensitivity and insight by Sparks.
Apart from Tru and Hope, the other major character in this novel is the magical mailbox, ‘Kindred Spirit’, which is situated in the North Carolina setting of Every Breath. I have to say, as of fan of letter writing, this was a big drawcard for me. I also loved the fact that it was based on a real life story of a mailbox situated in an isolated location in the US. This letterbox has seen people freely drop letters in to those they cannot write or get a letter to, for reasons unknown. I just wished we had one here in Australia, it is such a touching gesture, especially in a world where the art of letter writing seems to be disappearing at a rapid rate. I loved how Sparks tied this idea into his novel, it worked well and it added another vital layer to the book.
For those expecting a great romance from Nicholas Sparks, I don’t think you will be disappointed. For me personally, Every Breath wasn’t quite up there with my favourite Sparks novel, Dear John, but it was an enjoyable read. I will say that Every Breath is a book that will conjure up a variety of emotions; from happiness, to sadness, joy, frustration and it does leave you with hope. The love that surrounds Tru and Hope is one that is separated by time, life choices, ill-fated decisions and reconnection. It was nice to revisit this couple many decades after their first meeting. However, I would have loved to have gleaned more about their initial relationship spark, those magical five days of instant love on the beach in North Carolina captured my heart.
Fans old and new will appreciate the classic romantic sojourn Every Breath represents, through the capable hands of master storyteller Nicholas Sparks. Every Breath is a really lovely story, with a beautiful set of characters.
Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks is published by Hachette Australia. $32.99. Out now.
* I wish to thank Hachette Australia for providing a copy of this book for review purposes.
4.5 Stars ⭐️
I really wanted to give this 5 stars before I read it, because I love Nic Spark books. However, this one had just a little too much unbelievable sap for me. Too far fetched.
I disliked the 20year fast forward as well.
I’m both disappointed and pleased. I liked it in spots and I disliked it 🤷🏽♀️
Title: Every Breath
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Release date: October 16, 2018
Every Breath had a lot of promise to be a big winner for me, but unfortunately it didn't reach my expectations. Based on the synopsis, it sounded like an emotional ill-fated love story with the potential for a second chance later in life. How long can a dream survive? it poses.
Mistakes were inevitable, and she’d concluded that regrets could impart important lessons in life, if one was willing to learn from them. And in that sense, she realized that her father had been only half-correct about memories. They weren’t, after all, only doorways to the past. She wanted to believe that they could also be doorways to a new and different kind of future.
I knew that a happy ending isn't guaranteed, and while that's preferable, if the message in the story at least leaves me introspective and moved then I'm satisfied. I didn't come away from the book feeling happy with the events that took place, in fact, I was frustrated and left wanting more. There were several things that contributed to that, and I'll get to that in a minute.
Tru Walls is a safari guide from Zimbabwe who is visiting North Carolina for the first time on a life changing trip. He's a man of simple needs who loves his son dearly, but as much as he loved his ex-wife, they couldn't make their marriage work. They wanted different things out of life: she wanted a husband who would be home more, he wanted to continue the career he loved amongst the land and wildlife where he felt most at peace. This is one area where he was unwilling to compromise, and they parted on amicable terms. There isn't much that would tempt him to leave the country and take time away from his son. Except learning more about his biological father and unlocking answers to questions he has about his mother. For that, he agrees to meet with the man who has reached out to him, and the uncertainty of what he will uncover has him more than a little unsettled.
Hope Anderson is staying nearby at her parents' cottage on the beach with her own worries consuming her. Her father has just been diagnosed with ALS, and with that earth shattering news, the future is a scary thing to imagine. Will her parents have enough money for his care as his health deteriorates? How will she deal with seeing her wonderful father slowly waste away before her eyes? And then she has things of a more personal nature plaguing her mind. The relationship with her boyfriend of six years is once again on rocky terms, and she's at a crossroads. Attending her friend's wedding by herself while he parties in Vegas with his friends, she knows something has to give. As much as she doesn't want to believe she's wasting her time with him, she can't help but feel like marriage and a family may never be in the cards. Motherhood has always been something she expected to achieve...but more than that, needed to achieve. Now her biological clock is ticking away as she counts the minutes passing her by.
Both Hope and Tru were dealing with very heavy decisions that would forever alter the course of their life. It was a time for introspection and self-discovery. Then they cross paths and begin a friendship that very quickly evolves into a complication that neither was expecting. When I say very quickly, I'm talking about a matter of one day.
We met on a Wednesday morning, and I’d fallen in love with him by Thursday evening.
This was a major issue for me. Sparks was going for a soulmates/destiny/magical feeling about this couple based on how they instantly felt emotions that couldn't be explained. I'm not necessarily against that in books, but in this case it made their supposed depth of feelings seem artificial and shallow. In short, I just didn't believe it. The actual development of their romance was almost non-existent in the book. Which made the unchanged intensity of their feelings after 25 years to be laughable. On one hand, this was a fairy tale type of romance. On the other, it was bone jarringly realistic in regards to the effects of Hope's rash choices. I don't think you can have it both ways and end up with a cohesive plot.
Part two was a juxtaposition of regrets and hope for both characters. The big question was which one was the end point in it all? We get a long examination of their life stories over the last two and a half decades. Family, successes, failures, and pondering if things could have been better if another path had been chosen. To be frank, I started to skim some of these pages after a while because the story started to lose me. If I had agreed with Hope and liked her more, I might have cared at this point. Unfortunately I got annoyed at her selfishness, and the ignorance of her decision. Yes, she achieved her ultimate goal, but at what cost? She had alternatives that would have given her the same results, but refused to compromise on her needs.
I was just so done with her, I completely disconnected from the outcome of the story. Yes, it was sweet and romantic how they reconnected, and yet I was puzzled as to why Tru would even be interested at that point in his life. It didn't make very much sense to me.
I enjoyed Tru's home of Zimbabwe, and the detail put into the research surrounding that setting. There were parts of the plot that were whimsical and touching, and yet overall the romance was too superficial to actually be believable. The ending left me unexpectedly deflated as the reality of the near future was revealed. I couldn't help but feel that Tru's blind devotion had cheated him out of the happiness he could have had. I'm sure a lot of readers will find this to be achingly bittersweet, but for me this leaned way too far into the bitter with not enough sweet to satisfy.
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