Disclaimer: I am huge huge Nicholas Sparks fan and so far even after reading a dozen of his books, I am not able to “Not like” any of his books. Also, I have about half a dozen books more from him to read before I run out of reading material unless he is writing another book as I post this :). For me, he is the master of romance, although time and again I keep mentioning how I refuse to forgive him for “Message in a bottle” and another of my favorite romance writer Jojo Moyes for “Me Before You”, but what say or control do we mere readers have on how an Author thinks of his or her own characters and what all they do with them. That is one reason I am not too sure of his books and stories anymore till I reach the last page and take a sigh of relief to see that he didn’t ditch me yet again. So far, as Mr. Sparks is concerned, I have read a plethora of romance from him, he has tried his hand on a thriller too (The Guardian), personal memoirs (Three weeks with my brother) and hence the only genre left for him was Spooky or Horror and to my shock, surprise and amazement, he actually tried that in this one. If you have read my earlier posts, you know that I am a little afraid to pick up horrors and unfortunately as I refuse to read blurbs these days, I had no idea what I had in story for me with this one. A totally romantic story with a spooky background (ghost town) but fortunately it wasn’t that scary as I am happy to be alive to tell you the tale.
Jeremy Marsh is an investigative journalist who specializes in uncovering the truth behind those people with supernatural powers telling the past, present and future of their audience. How his character gets built up is a hilarious episode of how he finds the facts with the help of his cameraman and an agent who gets him his first break on a television channel. He goes to a small ghost town (Boone Creek, North Carolina, Sparks favorite state) to find the facts behind the ghosts living in town’s cemetery who make appearances at specific times on some special days while the town goes through a thick fog. The only help he has in the town comes in the shape of a beautiful girl Lexie and changes the course of the story altogether. Jeremy in mid 30’s, divorced living a recluse life but so is Lexie with too many broken relationships yet happy in our simple life of town’s only Library. What I most loved about the book was the life as depicted in small town, its sweet people their not so interesting lives and what not makes up for a beautiful story. How he uncovers the truth and gets involved himself while dealing with the facts makes up for the rest of the story. The only downside of this book was that Nicholas Sparks for the first time gets diverted from the main plot and the sub-plot actually takes the story forward, if you’ve read this, I am sure you will agree with me but the way it is done, it still turned out quite beautifully for me at-least and as this book as a sequel, I am so much looking forward to it now.
The book does gets philosophical too in between and I loved that. The way he has compared the life in the world’s busiest metro (NYC) Vs in Boone Creek, a sleepy town, yet people are content and happy. It was quite a short, fast and predictable read yet it was able to keep me hooked to the most part and engrossed till the very ending. If you have read this, do let me know how you like it and if you haven’t, go ahead, give it a try and see how Mr. Sparks handles the spooky romantic story.
PS: What a co-incidence this is that a light-house kept getting mentioned in the story quite a few times and my next read is actually a book named “To the Light-House” by Virginia Woolf (my first from her).