Published by Grand Central Publishing on September 19th 2000
Genre: Chick Lit
Challenge Theme: A bestseller from the year you graduated high school (2000)
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When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks – risks no one else in the department would ever take – to save lives. But there is one leap of faith Taylor can’t bring himself to make: He can’t fall in love. For all his adult years, Taylor has sought out women who need to be rescued, women he leaves as soon as their crisis is over, as soon as the relationship starts to become truly intimate.
Then, one day, a raging, record-breaking storm hits his small Southern town. Denise Holton, a young single mother, is driving through it when her car skids off the road. With her is her four-year-old son, Kyle, a boy with severe learning disabilities and for whom she has sacrificed everything. Unconscious and bleeding, she-but not Kyle-will be found by Taylor McAden. And when she wakes, the chilling truth becomes clear to both of them: Kyle is gone.
During the search for Kyle, the connection, the lifeline, between Taylor and Denise takes root. Taylor doesn’t know that this rescue will be different from all the others, demanding far more than raw physical courage. That it will lead him to the possibility of his own rescue from a life lived without love. That it will require him to open doors to his past that were slammed shut by pain. That it will dare him to live life to the fullest by daring to love.
When I first got into reading, YEARS AGO, Nicholas Sparks quickly became one of my favorite authors but it has been some time since I have read one of his books. When I got this prompt and found that this book fit it I was excited to get back into a Sparks novel. Does he has a go to formula for his novels? Sure, but I find myself loving each story on its own. He has such a way of bringing the reader into the character’s love story that I find his books so easy and enjoyable to read. In this particular book I absolutely loved the individual relationships; Denise & Kyle, Taylor & Kyle, Taylor & Mitch, and of course Denise & Taylor. I loved that it wasn’t an easy, perfect love story. There were conflicts and issues to overcome in every single relationship that made the story a much more worthwhile to read.
I have to say I am not sure how I feel about the character death in this book. I know that is part of Spark’s formula and that climax is what made Taylor come to the important realization he needed to but it made me incredibly sad nonetheless. Of course the last line the book made me smile from ear to ear, even if I have seen that same ending before. What can I say? I am sap for that sort of last line.
“You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter.”
“People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.”