Nicholas Sparks is the author of 15 books. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and children. You can visit the author's web site at www. nicholassparks.com.
Secret traumas again haunt Sparks's characters, in the author's fourth novel (after The Notebook; Message in a Bottle; A Walk to Remember). Denise Holden, the 29-year-old heroine, is destitute and forced to live in her mother's old house in Edenton, N.C. She's also the single mother of a handicapped child, Kyle, a four-year-old with "auditory processing problems" that render him unable to express himself or to fully understand others. Though she doesn't suspect it, Denise is on a literal collision course with true love. After she smashes her car into a tree and wakes up to discover Kyle missing, she finds deliverance in the form of Taylor McAden, dashing firefighter and compulsive risk taker, who rescues Kyle, too. Since Taylor enjoys an instant, unprecedented rapport with Kyle, there is little standing in the way of burgeoning romance. Trouble comes, however, when Denise learns of Taylor's checkered romantic past. Taylor's inability to commit, it seems, is somehow tied to his compulsive heroism, of which numerous histrionic examples are described. Denise's quest to find the source of Taylor's emotional distance takes up the final third of the book. The story here is mostly a pretext for the emotional assault that Sparks delivers, but when he manages to link affect to action, the result is cunningly crafted melodrama. These occasions are rare, though; more often Sparks gets bogged down in interminable interior monologue. Because these characters are preordained lovers, their feelings prescribed by fiction conventions, their psychology amounts to little more than a profusion of banality. Yet Sparks's narrative acquires immediacy when his characters' exaggerated emotions compel immoderate actions, and his readers will surely delight at these moments of heightened expressiveness. 1 million first printing; 24-city author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Though detractors may say he writes "like a girl," the would-be king of romance (The Notebook) continues to please his readers. In Edenton, a small town on the North Carolina coast, Denise Holton struggles to raise her young son, Kyle, alone. Adding to her isolation is her time-consuming effort to combat Kyle's severe language-processing disability. As a result of a car accident during a storm, she meets Taylor McAden, a local contractor and volunteer fireman. Though Taylor seems to be meant for DeniseÄhe evidently loves Kyle as wellÄhe suffers from a classic case of "can't commit." But is it more than that? What's behind the fa‡ade of this charming rescuer? Taylor comes close to losing what he most desires as he finally confronts his secret demons. This novel will appeal to female readers seeking another romantic story with a happy ending.ÄRebecca Sturm Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"A romantic page-turner...Sparks's fans won't be
"All of Sparks's trademark elements--love, loss, and small-town life--are present in this terrific read."--Booklist
"A modern master of fateful love stories."--BookPage