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The Notebook: A Book Review

Updated on June 5, 2015

The Notebook By Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook is a novel that makes you want to believe that true love can be ageless and timeless. As the novel opens with the story of a couple Noah Calhoun in his twilight years along with his wife Allie Hamilton who suffer Alzheimer's Disease that makes her forget all their journeys of love together.

It is very much a heartwarming classic love story, a poignant one that is totally a tear-jerker! It is written by Nicholas Sparks over a period of six months in 1994 and published in 1996 and spent over a year as hardcover best seller.

Behind every great love is a great story.

Book Description

From Publisher's Weekly...

In 1932, two North Carolina teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks fall in love. Spending one idyllic summer together in the small town of New Bern, Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson do not meet again for 14 years. Noah has returned from WWII to restore the house of his dreams, having inherited a large sum of money. Allie, programmed by family and the "caste system of the South" to marry an ambitious, prosperous man, has become engaged to powerful attorney Lon Hammond. When she reads a newspaper story about Noah's restoration project, she shows up on his porch step, re-entering his life for two days.

Will Allie leave Lon for Noah? The book's slim dimensions and cliche-ridden prose will make comparisons to The Bridges of Madison County inevitable. What renders Spark's (Wokini: A Lakota Journey of Happiness and Self-Understanding) sentimental story somewhat distinctive are two chapters, which take place in a nursing home in the '90s, that frame the central story. The first sets the stage for the reading of the eponymous notebook, while the later one takes the characters into the land beyond happily ever after, a future rarely examined in books of this nature. Early on, Noah claims that theirs may be either a tragedy or a love story, depending on the perspective. Ultimately, the judgment is up to readers?be they cynics or romantics. For the latter, this will be a weeper.

Listen to the The Notebook Audio Book

The Notebook
The Notebook

Reader's Review

This is a beautiful love story, with all the emotions to hook you from the get-go. The sensitivity of the author is clearly portrayed in Noah and Allie. Nicolas Sparks weaves his magic with this story, which is based on his wife's "beloved grandparents."

I absolutely loved this story and I am not a big romance reader. But I do love Nicholas Sparks' books and now have read all of them. If you are a hopeless or a hopeful romantic, then this book is a must read! As with all of Nicholas Sparks' books, keep a box of Kleenex handy - you are sure to use them!


Have you read the book? - Write a review, add a comment, or debate someone who disagrees with you.

What did you think of Nicholas Spark's novel?

About the Author: Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Charles Sparks (born December 31, 1965) is an internationally bestselling American author, writing novels with themes that include Christianity, love, tragedy and fate. He has 15 published novels, five of which have been turned into films, including The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, Nights in Rodanthe, and "The Last Song". (read more Wikipedia)

Book Reviews For the The Notebook - by Nicholas Sparks

See what others are saying about Nicholas Sparks' book.

Excerpt from the novel The Notebook

I must say, The Notebook is one of the very heartwarming love stories ever wrote. It is inspired by Nicholas Spark's wife grandparents who has been married for almost 60 years when he met them.

I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life.

There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.

The romantics would call this a love story, the cynics would call it a tragedy. In my mind it's a little bit of both, and no matter what how you choose to view it in the end, it does not change the fact that involves a great deal of my life and the path I've chosen to follow.

So once again, just as I do every day, I begin to read the notebook aloud, so that she can hear it, in the hope that the miracle that has come to dominate my life will once again prevail.

And maybe, just maybe, it will.

-Duke (Miracles, p.1-5)

I write this letter by candlelight as you lie sleeping in the bedroom we have shared since the day we were married. And though I can't hear the sounds of your slumber, I know you are there, and soon I will be lying next to you again as I always have. And I will feel your warmth and your comfort, and your breaths will slowly guide me to the place where I dream of you and the wonderful man you are.

I see the flame beside me and it reminds me of another fire from decades ago, with me with your soft clothes and you in your jeans. I knew then we would always be together, even though I wavered the following day. My heart had been captured, roped by a southern poet, and I knew inside that it had always been yours.

Who was I to question a love that rode on shooting stars and roared like crashing waves? For that is what it was between us then and that is what it is today.

I love you for many things, especially your passions, for they have always been those things which are most beautiful in life. Love and poetry and fatherhood and friendship and beauty and nature. And I am glad you taught the children these things, for I know their lives are better for it. They tell me how special you are to them and every time they do, it makes me feel like the luckiest woman alive.

So I love you so deeply, so incredibly much that I will find a way to come back to you despite my disease, I promise you that. And this is the story comes in. When I am lost and lonely, read this story - just as as you told it to the children - and know that in some way, I will realize it's about us.

And perhaps, just perhaps, we will find a way to be together again.

-Allie's Letter to Duke (Winter for Two p. 203-207)

The Notebook Movie Trailer

The Notebook, the Official Movie Poster (2004)

The Notebook, the Official Movie Poster (2004)
The Notebook, the Official Movie Poster (2004)


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Books By Nicholas Sparks

Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun & Rachel McAdams as Allie Hamilton (in the the The Notebook film)

Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun & Rachel McAdams as Allie Hamilton (in the the The Notebook film)
Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun & Rachel McAdams as Allie Hamilton (in the the The Notebook film)

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Reader's Feedback

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    • KathyZ1 profile image

      KathyZ1 4 years ago

      Useful lens. Thanks for your shaing.

    • charlie1232 profile image

      charlie1232 4 years ago

      Reading this has reminded me that my daughter suggested I read this book months ago, and she even bought me a box set of Nicholas Sparks books, but I have not read this one yet. Must look it out and start reading it.

    • littleowl1 profile image

      littleowl1 5 years ago

      Just read this book, and I absolutely loved it! Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      Great movie.

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 5 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      I read the book some time ago, but I remember loving it. Great read!!

    • vetochemicals profile image

      Cindy 5 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      Loved the movie and looking forward to getting the book and reading more from Nicholas Sparks!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 5 years ago from California

      An excellent lens about a great book. I enjoyed the movie as well. Blessed. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • PuttinUpWithSuzy profile image

      PuttinUpWithSuzy 5 years ago

      I haven't read the book but my husband and I watched the movie on our honeymoon. It reminded us a little of our own story...he found me again 20 years after we broke up and we married shortly thereafter. So this was a great movie to see for us.

    • jethrosas profile image

      Jethro 6 years ago from Philippines

      I love the film but I haven't read the book. I want to read the book someday. =)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I've read all of Nicholas Sparks books -- he's a wonderful author. "The Notebook" was very good -- even with the sad ending similar to 'Message in a Bottle'.

    • natashaely profile image

      natashaely 6 years ago

      I have added this as one of choices for the May book in the reading group and it will be voted on. Great page and I really liked this book, a little corny as they usually are but it's what makes it a tear-jerker!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      pretty cute corny novel of Nicholas Sparks, I read it and I liked it very much and I no longer wonder why this novel was a best seller. Talking about the characters, they are well developed throughout the story, but I think that Allie would not have forgotten his Noah if he would have taken Sildenafil Citrate wife doesn't forget about me, not even for a minute!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago