The Notebook is one of my ultimate favourite love stories. I actually watched the movie first before reading the book and I have to admit though that I really loved the movie more than the book. Well, this doesn’t mean I did not love the book, I loved it too. The reason I love the movie more, which rarely happens, is because the movie actually gives you more details I think that could have been fundamental for the book.
“The Notebook is an achingly tender story about the enduring power of love, a story of miracles that will stay with you forever” – Excerpt on the inside jacket cover.
The novel opens up with Noah Calhoun – the main male character- as an old man, reading a well-worn notebook. Then we get taken back in time where the story shows us Noah who recently returned from World War 2 and starts restoring a plantation home to what is was before it became dilapidated. We learnt that Noah fell in love with a girl named Allie Nelson about fourteen years earlier and still happens to be in love with her. The movie opens up with Noah as an old man reading and it shows us back about fourteen years when Noah and Allie met then it shows us the paths their lives took fourteen years later and how they reunite again and in between the movie it goes back into the present to Noah as an old man. We get to see the story from Noah’s point of view, both in the novel and movie.
So after fourteen years of no contact, Allie discovers that Noah has restored the old house from a newspaper article. It happened to be the house they made love in and for both, it was their first time, as well as the house he promised that one day he would buy for her. For Allie, she felt that she had “unfinished” business in New Bern, North Carolina as she left Noah without looking back out of respect for her family.
She then decides to go to New Bern to go see Noah. Noah discovers that Allie is engaged and about to get married in a few weeks’ time. Allie also realizes that her feelings and passion for Noah has never dimmed with the passage of time. She also discovers that Noah has written Allie letters for two years and all along she never received them as her mother was the one who kept the letters hidden from Allie. And what they both realize is that the obstacles that prevented them from being together fourteen years ago, still remains.
Then against all odds they end up back together. As the reader, we get taken into the present with Noah and Allie as old people with grandchildren and an unfortunate ailment has befallen Allie, yet again Noah ends up fighting for Allie, fighting for what they were, what made them what they have become – a deeply moving portrait of love.
I have to say though, I love the book’s ending way better than the movie’s ending but I must confess that the movie’s ending was more epic and dramatic. I will not discuss the ending any further because then I will give away a HUGE spoiler. I am also hoping I did not give away too much with this review.
Just as the movie had me crying for this love story, so has the book. Nicholas Sparks just knew how to portray one of the best love stories ever been told with just the right tender moments and moving scenes that affects us all as affectionate human beings. According to Sparks, he based this novel on his wife’s grandparents – “beloved grandparents” as he puts it. This is a definite must read!! But I would also encourage anyone to watch the movie as well.
Which is your favourite love story of all times?