Friday, October 28, 2011

RECOMMENDATION OF THE MONTH: A WALK TO REMEMBER ~ NICHOLAS SPARKS

This time around my recommendation of the month is a relatively old book. By that I just mean that it's not as current as my previous recommendations. The reason I am making it my recommendation of the month is because it is one of my all time favourite books, and probably the book I've read the most. If you've never read this masterpiece, it really is a book you need to add to your must-read-list!


This book was published in 1999, and given to me that same year as a birthday gift from my big brother. (How amazing to have brothers who buy you books?!) During my High School years, this was the book I turned to for comfort. Whenever I was feeling down, or lonely or bored, this book would keep me company, help me while away the time and cheer me up all at the same time. I have come to love these characters, and this timeless story about first love and faith will always be in my top 5 books of all time. My recommendation of the month is A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks.


Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he’d fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister. A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter’s life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood… - as per Nicholas Sparks' website.


Like most novels there are several different covers, this is what mine looks like.

Jamie and Landon have "known" each other all of their lives. They live in the same small town, go to the same school, attend the same church, but they've never been friends. Landon is popular, Jamie is not. Jamie doesn't wear fashionable clothes, she carries her Bible around with her, she does charity work. Jamie is pretty much the most boring girl in Beaufort; or so Landon thinks. As newly appointed Student Body President, Landon must attend the school dance, with a date. Having previously dismissed the idea of going, Landon is dateless at the last minute, and reluctantly asks out the only girl who hasn't been asked; Jamie. Once in her company Landon begins to realise that Jamie is a lovely girl, misunderstood by her peers. As they start to spend more time in each other's company, Landon has to deal with redicule from the popular kids, Jamie's disapproving father, and most importantly the mystery of Jamie's misunderstood life and unshakeable faith in a God she can't see.

There is also a film version of the book wherein Shane West and Mandy Moore bring Landon and Jamie to life; Mandy Moore won several awards for her beautiful portrayal of Jamie.


I love the film version too, but many changes were made in order to modernise the story set in 1958 to a more contemporary account. The movie version was released in 2002, and was directed by Adam Shankman. If you've seen the movie it doesn't mean you know the book. At all! My favourite scene in the book, the title scene, is not even in the movie! But still, they made it work. The movie is a great addition to the story, but I strongly recommend that you read the book first.


The description from Nicholas' website pretty much sums up the outline of the story, but the core is so dazzling and heartbreakingly real that I can't share that here without giving the story away. It's quite simply one of those books you have to read for yourself. I sincerely hope that you do.


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