The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

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The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Two stories which run side by side until they meet in the most unexpected way. A real feel-good read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: September 2013
Publisher: Sphere
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0751549942

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An elderly man set off on a car journey when the weather was so bad that he really shouldn't have taken the risk. He couldn't quite remember what caused him to skid off the road, but he was trapped in the car which had slithered down a steep embankment. The weather was worsening and he wasn't optimistic about the chances of being found. For ninety-one-year-old Ira Levinson his only comfort and hope was the presence of his adored wife, Ruth, who'd been dead for nine years. Some way away Sophia Danko's life was complicated. She'd been dating Brian for two years but finished the relationship when he cheated on her for the second time - only Brian couldn't accept that it was over. That was how Sophia met Luke - he stepped in when Brian's attentions became just a little too pressing.

And so we follow two love stories: that of the elderly couple who first met when Ruth was sixteen and a recent immigrant from troubled, pre-war Vienna and Ira, a haberdasher as well as Luke and Sophia. There's an immigrant history to Sophia too - her parents run a delicatessen in New Jersey and she's at college on a scholarship. The relationship with Luke Collins isn't an obvious one: he's a cowboy who makes most of his money from riding bulls at rodeos. If that doesn't make you edgy enough, Luke is hiding a secret from Sophia and it's something that could destroy everything.

I was totally hooked by Sophia and Luke's story but less so by Ruth and Ira. This was probably because their story was a rehashing of what had happened and I already knew most of the ending, rather than an ongoing drama. There's an intriguing background story though - despite being relatively low down on the wealth scale they managed to amass an art collection worth a fortune, largely because Ruth had the eye. There was a more immediate problem for Sophia and Luke though - how would they sustain the relationship when Sophia finished college?

Film rights have been sold and there's a planned release on Valentine's Day 2015. It should be stunning. There's the dramatic scenery and a series of very vivid locations spread over quite a time span. There are characters you can love as well as the mandatory few which you can hate with a vengeance. And the ending - well, it could never happen in real life. Could it? What's not to make it a success?

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. We also have a review of Sparks' The Best of Me.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky.

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Buy The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks at


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