People will forever underestimate the power of “young love”. It seems that most discount it because you have to be a “certain age” before love means anything powerful. Many seem to forget that if your first love (usually when a teenager) meant everything to you, why wouldn’t it mean that much and more to someone else?
Nicholas Sparks 16th novel, The Best Of Me, explores the depth of young love and how it has the ability to change your life forever. The Best Of Me follows the story of Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier, high school sweethearts, who are torn apart by society as teenagers and meet again 26 years later when they both return home to Oriental, North Carolina, for the funeral of a mentor and friend, Tuck Hostetler.
It was never easy being a Cole, the infamous family of criminals in Oriental, and it set Dawson up for a lifetime of unfair expectations. After falling in love with Amanda, a beautiful girl from Oriental’s aristocracy, their love story was anything but easy. Amanda’s parents consistently tried to convince their daughter that she could do better than a Cole. The only person who didn’t find their love strange was Tuck, the local mechanic, who took Dawson in as a teenager when he had nowhere else to go.
Fast forward a few years and Amanda is married with two children (having lost another to cancer) and after a stint in prison Dawson has worked on an oil rig and hasn’t had a serious relationship since Amanda. There are strange circumstances surrounding their return to Oriental with neither one of them realising why Tuck had requested they return.
Of the rest of his books, The Best Of Me resembles The Notebook in a way that the others haven’t. While completely different circumstances, Dawson reminds me the most of Noah, as he never let go of his feelings for Amanda and never moved on because of this.
As with all Nicholas Sparks books, The Best Of Me has an amazing quality that helps you to believe in the magic of love, but to also realise that love is always hard and rarely easy. While I am a little bias, I would definitely give this book a read.