Author: Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks is one of the great fiction writers of love stories of our time. Not because he uses big words, or tries to impress you. He uses quiet and tender prose and traps emotion and lends it to his readers with genuine feeling. Like Man O’ War, he has great heart.
18 year-old Veronica Miller – Ronnie to her friends – lives in NY with her mother and her 9 year old brother Jonah. Bitter and angry because her parents divorced 3 years ago, she has not spoken to her Dad Steve since. When her mother decides that Ronnie and Jonah need to spend the summer with their father in his seacoast hometown of Wilmington, N.C., Ronnie argues with her mother the entire car trip. When she arrives, she ignores her father and Jonah and gets very angry when Steve plays the piano. An ex-concert pianist and professor at Juilliard, Steve now lives a quiet life on the beach in an old sun bleached cottage.
Once sharing his love of the piano and composing, Ronnie now hates it and hasn’t played in three years. Her father puts a wall up in the cottage to hide the piano so that Ronnie doesn’t have to see it, even though he will dearly miss his playing.
But Ronnie is dealing with other things, while her brother and father work on the stained glass window Steve is making for Pastor Harris. The church burned down in an arson fire the year before, and Steve is giving Pastor Harris the most beautiful thing that he can – a new window for his new church.
Ronnie, alone and scared, has fallen into a bad crowd. She has struck up a friendship with Blaze, a punker girl who hangs around with a guy named Marcus and his sidekicks, Teddy and Lance. They perform a fireball act on the pier to survive. When Marcus comes on to her, Ronnie immediately sees through him and wants nothing to do with the bully. But Blaze, in a jealous fit, sets Ronnie up when they are both in a record store. She slips valuable records in Ronnie’s purse and Ronnie is caught for shoplifting. Ronnie has shoplifted in NY – once – but now she has to get Steve to believe her. Ronnie hates Wilmington so much, she packs to leave for NY. But to her astonishment, her father not only believes her, he supports her. She decides to stay.
When she meets Will, it is by accident. Will is playing volleyball on the beach and runs into Ronnie, spilling his soda all over her shirt. He is gorgeous, but Ronnie steers clear. He is too preppy for her NY style, with her purple streaked hair. Also, Will’s ex-girlfriend, Angela, lies to her about Will and Ronnie believes her. With Marcus stalking her, Ronnie cannot leave Wilmington – she has a court date for the shoplifting case.
When Ronnie gets a job at the aquarium, she and Will reconnect – Will volunteers there. As Ronnie’s perspective about love changes, she begins to understand, and appreciate both her father and Will. She and Jonah have been protecting a nest of endangered loggerhead eggs on the beach, sleeping by the nest to protect it. Will gets the aquarium to put a barrier on top so that the eggs will be safe. Will joins Ronnie sleeping next to the nest and the sea soothes them into a tidal lull of happiness.
Will has his own secrets. As the novel progresses, Will and Ronnie make their own way through the currents of Will’s parents and Steve’s news that he is dying. Ronnie decides to stay with her father until the end. The lessons learned are heartfelt and I was crying at the end.
Maybe Mr. Spark’s best, we hear the refrains of love as Ronnie finishes her father’s last composition and sings it to him before he dies. A wonderful novel.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
“The Last Song” can be purchased at Amazon.com for under $15.
Thank you to the Hachette Book Group for providing our review copy as well as copies to give away.
Remember to Enter Daily!
* Subscribe to The Review Broads for FREE
* Vote for The Review Broads in the Divine Caroline LOVE this site contest.
* Follow the Review Broads – on the sidebar
* Tell a friend – if they subscribe or follow The Review Broads you get an entry (with unlimited entries) – please put their e-mail address as well as yours in the comments.
* Link to this giveaway on your Facebook page
* Twitter this giveaway
* Add our badge to your blog/site
* Blog about this giveaway
* Be sure to leave a comment letting me know if you’ve done any of these (if you already subscribe – please note that in the comments as well).
Please make sure you leave your email address when adding a comment or I will not be able to contact you if you win.
* This giveaway is open to US residents, 13 and over and ends on September 19, 2009 11:59 EST.
* The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted via email.
* The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email or an alternate winner will be chosen.
* Please make sure you check your junk mail folder
* Good Luck