Adrienne Willis is 45 and has been divorced for three years, abandoned by her husband for a younger woman. The trials of raising her teenage children and caring for her sick father have worn her down, but at the request of a friend and in hopes of respite, she’s gone to the coastal village of Rodanthe in North Carolina to tend the local inn for the weekend. With a major storm brewing, the time away doesn’t look promising…until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At 54, Paul is a successful surgeon, but in the previous six months his life has unraveled into something he doesn’t recognize. Estranged from his son and recently divorced, he’s sold his practice and his home and has journeyed to this isolated town in hopes of closing a painful chapter in his past. Adrienne and Paul come together as the storm brews over Rodanthe, but what begins between them over the weekend will resonate throughout the rest of their lives, intertwining past and future, love and loss.
This is my forth Nicholas Sparks book, each time I have felt like I was manipulated by dramatic events, in hopes I would become a sobbing mess. Not something I enjoy from a book, I like for the emotions to come naturally and surprise me with words that would capture my heart. I am pleased to say this book didn’t feel manipulative to me, but it also didn’t leave me in tears and longing for more.
You will find a rather well written story of a mother who decides it’s time to reach out to her grown daughter and share the secrets of her past. Adrienne’s life changed suddenly with a divorce, after finding out she was being replaced with a younger woman. Now a single mom to three teenagers, her life was in turmoil and she didn’t know what the next step would be. She did the best she could, and marveled at her two grown sons thriving in their own careers and families but her grown daughter has been stuck in the grief of losing her young husband to cancer.
No matter how much she tries to help Amanda, her offers of support were denied because according to her daughter, Adrienne had no idea how she was feeling. Adrienne chose to divorce, Amanda’s choice was taken from her by the dreaded disease. As a last ditch effort to make Amanda realize she wasn’t alone, Adrienne brings out a shoe box of memories and begins to tell her story about Paul.
We then go into flashback mode as their story unfolds. Making Amanda fully understand that events might be different but the emotions are similar and real, Adrienne takes the reader back to the first days of meeting Paul, falling in love and the baggage he carried in his life as well.
I will stop with the recap now and allow the reader to absorb the story on their own, but as with every book I have read from this author, the story is predictable and drawn out. I do believe, if a reader is in a specific place in their life right now that relates to this plot, you will walk away with a lasting feeling from Adrienne and Paul. Otherwise, I believe this will be yet another book that will soon be forgotten because of the traditional, routine theme I have come to expect from Nicholas Sparks.