Title: Every Breath
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Published: October 16th 2018
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars
From the number one bestselling author of The Notebook and Two by Two comes an unforgettable tale of enduring love . . . Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. After six years with her boyfriend, she is no longer sure what she wants, and when her father becomes ill she heads to her family’s cottage at Sunset Beach in North Carolina to make some difficult decisions.
Tru Walls has been summoned across an ocean from where he was born and raised in Zimbabwe by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. In journeying to Sunset Beach, Tru hopes to unravel the mystery surrounding his mother’s life, but the letter will lead him in an unexpected direction.
When these two strangers’ paths cross, their chance encounter sets in motion a heart-breaking story – one that will transcend decades, continents and the workings of fate.
The king of contemporary romance fiction returns with a brand new love story titled, Every Breath. This is a love at first sight classic romance, that sees destiny play a huge role in shaping the lives of two individuals, Tru and Hope. Sparks describes his latest novel as ‘a classic story of lovers long denied’. I think this quote perfectly summarises what you can expect when you pick up Every Breath.
The latest novel from Nicholas Sparks begins with Tru, a guide from Zimbabwe, who is called the US on a relatively short trip to connect with his biological father and learn more about his mother before his father passes away. Alongside Tru’s story is Hope Anderson’s journey. Hope is a woman who is unsure of where her life is going. She is in a relationship that doesn’t seem to be progressing, or making her happy. She also is faced with some tough choices in North Carolina, where she is visiting her ill father. Every Breath is the heart pounding story of how these two strangers fall quickly and deeply in love, but they face immense complications. A decision is made and the two go their separate ways, living on opposite sides of the world and inhabiting very different life paths.
It is always a comfort to return to the writing of an author that you have followed for some time. I first began my love affair with the work of Nicholas Sparks back in 2012, where I read book after book of his work. I do suspect that my interest in his work began prior to 2012, when I first read The Notebook, a timeless love story. In Every Breath, the latest novel from Nicholas Sparks, we are reminded why he rules the roost in terms of contemporary romance. I can’t think of another male author that is able to capture to heart, feelings and emotions that Nicholas Sparks seems to so easily convey through the pages of his novel.
So this time around, Every Breath introduces two protagonists who have their own troubles and colourful back stories. For Tru, his life in Zimbabwe really makes this novel stand out. The sequences featuring Tru’s life in Africa had me utterly entranced. Sparks does an excellent job of bringing this country to the pages of his novel. I felt like I had been transported to Zimbabwe in these scenes and many times I imagined myself standing there right beside Tru. This is perhaps an indication of the research Sparks has undertaken on this part of the world and his true passion for Africa. Then we have Hope. I enjoyed Hope’s story and I genuinely liked her as character. There were a few choices that she made that didn’t quite stick well with me, but I feel in the spirit of the book, it did work well. Through Hope, Sparks explores medical issues and an illness (I won’t say much more as I wish to avoid spoilers). I thought this aspect of the novel was handled with sensitivity and insight by Sparks.
Apart from Tru and Hope, the other major character in this novel is the magical mailbox, ‘Kindred Spirit’, which is situated in the North Carolina setting of Every Breath. I have to say, as of fan of letter writing, this was a big drawcard for me. I also loved the fact that it was based on a real life story of a mailbox situated in an isolated location in the US. This letterbox has seen people freely drop letters in to those they cannot write or get a letter to, for reasons unknown. I just wished we had one here in Australia, it is such a touching gesture, especially in a world where the art of letter writing seems to be disappearing at a rapid rate. I loved how Sparks tied this idea into his novel, it worked well and it added another vital layer to the book.
For those expecting a great romance from Nicholas Sparks, I don’t think you will be disappointed. For me personally, Every Breath wasn’t quite up there with my favourite Sparks novel, Dear John, but it was an enjoyable read. I will say that Every Breath is a book that will conjure up a variety of emotions; from happiness, to sadness, joy, frustration and it does leave you with hope. The love that surrounds Tru and Hope is one that is separated by time, life choices, ill-fated decisions and reconnection. It was nice to revisit this couple many decades after their first meeting. However, I would have loved to have gleaned more about their initial relationship spark, those magical five days of instant love on the beach in North Carolina captured my heart.
Fans old and new will appreciate the classic romantic sojourn Every Breath represents, through the capable hands of master storyteller Nicholas Sparks. Every Breath is a really lovely story, with a beautiful set of characters.
Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks is published by Hachette Australia. $32.99. Out now.
To learn more about the author of Every Breath, Nicholas Sparks, visit here.