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Looking for love? Try Rodanthe

Much like Nicholas Sparks’ other books, his newest Nights in Rodanthe deals with love and the pain that comes with it. The book debuted at No. 1 in October on all charts nation-wide, and is still No. 4 on the best-seller charts.

Avid readers of Sparks, or those who just live for a good love story, will enjoy this book. But those people familiar with Sparks’ other books may find the plot predictable. Sparks is best known for writing dramatic fiction, and he doesn’t let his readers down in that area.

Like many of his other books, the story is told in retrospect, this time with a mother, Adrienne Willis, telling a story to her daughter, Amanda. Amanda has recently lost her husband, and the rest of the family feels she is neglecting her young children. To help her move on, Adrienne tells her about a part of her life she never knew about.

After Adrienne’s husband leaves her for a younger woman, she begins to feel lonely. Her old college roommate asks her to watch the inn she runs for a week. Adrienne leaves her three teenage children with their father, and goes tot he inn. When Adrienne gets there, she meets Paul Flanner, the inn’s only customer. Paul’s wife has left him for another man, and he suddenly realizes he has spent his whole life working, and he’s not satisfied.

Upon meeting, Paul and Adrienne instantly feel comfortable with each other, and begin telling each other all their thoughts and feelings. Adrienne learns that Paul has been estranged from his adult son, Mark, for years. After his five days at the inn, he plans on going to Ecuador for a year to repair relations with Mark.

The next day, a horrible storm draws close, and so do Paul and Adrienne. They have already fallen in love with each other. They spend the rest of their trip holed up in the house. When they must leave each other at the end of the trip, Paul promises that in a year, they’ll be together. While he’s gone, they communicate with letters.

Sparks is known for loosely basing his plots on stories from his family’s experiences. Like Paul and Adrienne, Sparks and his wife, Cathy, met in a small town during spring break of their senior year in college. They, too, only had five days with each other before they had to go back to their own lives. They kept in touch with letters and phone calls, and were later married.

Sparks’ novel deals with sacrifice because both Paul and Adrienne have to put off being together because of the responsibility they have to their children. It also shows that people can fall in true love in only a short time, and that people of all ages find love.

Those who really like this book can look forward to the movie. According to Sparks’ Web site, Warner Brothers has purchased the movie rights to the book, and planning is in process. Two of his other books, A Walk to Remember and Message in a Bottle, have already been made into movies.

Contact Louisa Ogle at oraclelouisa@yahoo.com