The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier. Dawson is from the wrong side of the tracks - his family is notorious in their small town of Oriental for boozing, crime, and generally being up to no good. He is quiet and does his best to be invisible and avoid the trouble caused by his family. Amanda comes from a wealthy, well-respected family. She is popular and beautiful, and could have anyone she wanted. During their senior year of high school, Dawson and Amanda fall in love - a deep, true love that changes their lives forever. However, the realities of life and circumstances beyond their control drive them apart and they are forced to end their relationship.

Flash forward 25 years and Dawson and Amanda find themselves back together in Oriental to attend the funeral of their mutual friend, Tuck. Dawson has spent the last 25 years trying to overcome his past while working on an oil rig. He lives a solitary life and has ever stopped thinking about or loving Amanda. Amanda is married and has 4 children. The past 25 years have been filled with immeasurable joy, pain, and heartbreak for her. She has lost a child and is living in an unhappy marriage. She also has never forgotten Dawson.

Dawson and Amanda are drawn back together, but once again life and circumstance threaten to pull them apart. Over the course of a weekend they are forced to confront the past, make tough decisions, and face the uncertainty of the future. One thing they know for certain - their love is a once in a lifetime love, a true love that will endure forever. But is it enough to overcome all the obstacles in their way?

I liked this NSparks book, but I didn't love it. I liked how Sparks weaved together all of the story lines of the different characters. This book as a little predictable for me. I could see where the story was going almost at every turn. The characters kept me interested in the story, but I have a feeling that if they had been less interesting or if their stories had been less artfully woven together, I would have lost interest in the story about half way through. I like a little mystery in my books. I like to be surprised by the direction an author takes with a story. There was no surprise for me in this one. There was still enough romance to keep a hopeless romantic like me interested enough to finish it, and if you are an NSparks fan, you will enjoy it. 

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