The Best of Me

   Posted by: Kristina   in Contemporary, Romance

The Best of Me

In this novel, we are introduced to two characters.  We juggle between their past and their preset lives as we get to know them along with the other people in their lives that helped to shape them into who they are.

Their Past: High school sweethearts, Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole are from two different worlds and their families are nothing alike.  Amanda comes from an established affluent family, her Mom lives strictly by society’s rules, and she is not happy with the budding relationship that is going one between her daughter and one of the Coles. The Coles are low down, mean, rough, drug dealers, they run a successful moon shining business, and wouldn’t blink an eye if they wanted to stab you in the back to teach a lesson, even the law new better to mess with that family.  Poor Dawson was guilty by association; he was born a Cole, but his heart and his mind were innocent and genuine.  Amanda and Dawson were drawn together, building a bond so strong and their love was pure.  Their families wanted their relationship to end, and they succeeded.  Amanda and Dawson were now apart.

Their Present: Fast-forward twenty-five years.  Amanda is now a mom and she is unhappily married to an alcoholic dentist.  She still struggles with the pain of losing a child to cancer and every day she makes the decision to stay with her husband to keep her family together.  When she receives the news that her dear friend has passed away she packs up and makes the trek to her hometown.  Memories of Dawson flooding through her mind.   Dawson has the dangerous job of working on an oil rig; every day could bring on a new life-threatening challenge.  Already Dawson has been at death’s door and was saved to see another day.  He’s left with visions of a man, and questions why he was saved.  When he finds out the man who took him under his wing and saved him from his life with the Coles has died, he packs up and heads home.  Dawson knows full well that he is walking into a guaranteed fight with his family, a fight he may not walk away from.  On his trip back home he reflects on his love for Amanda, it has remained constant and true all these years, going back to Oriental will just make the ache a little stronger for him.

Their Friend: Tuck Hostetler had taken in Dawson when he had nowhere else to turn.  He gave him a bed, he gave him food, he gave him a job, and he gave Amanda and Dawson a safe place to meet and grow their love.  Amanda had started visiting Tuck after she had grown and married.  She had found a friend who could listen to her tears and frustration without the fear of judgment.  His wife had passed on, and he was a good man that saw something still was missing in Amanda’s and Dawson’s life, and just because he had passed didn’t mean he couldn’t interfere, and with his help they could make better decisions with their lives.

I started reading this book for a book club; I’m familiar with Nicholas Sparks’ works and was really excited to read it, knowing there’s always a beautiful romance when Nicholas is concerned.  However, as I started reading, I realized that there was so much more to this book.  It started making me think and I began to question my convictions in life.  In my personal life I have seen the affects of an affair and how it can ruin lives.  There is nothing worse in my mind, than a person who is unfaithful to their companion, and here I was reading about a married woman who was having romantic feelings towards another man.  How can it be romanticized? How can this be okay?  Both Amanda and Dawson were good people, I couldn’t help but like Dawson and cheer for him, but at the same time he knew Amanda was married.  What they were doing that weekend was wrong. I wish there was a different way that Nicholas Sparks could have written these characters, given them a different chance at life with each other, where they weren’t going to hurt other people.  This wasn’t a book that felt you feeling good at the end; it left you confused and unhappy.  I do love his books, but this one is definitely not one of my favorites.




This entry was posted on Friday, November 13th, 2015 at 15:03 and is filed under Contemporary, Romance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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