The Notebook is a difficult book to review. I have seen the film, which I absolutely loved, and which is now one of my all time favourite romance flicks. As I read the book I could only imagine the characters as they were in the film. Fortunately for me, this was fine as I think the actors are great, and now I have also read the book, a perfect match for Allie and Noah.
I also had difficulty with reading the actual story that was told within the pages. I kept filling in the blanks with scenes from the film. I think this was because the book didn’t show the whole story of Allie and Noah, just the part where they see each other again after many years apart. The young romance we are shown in the movie are just fleeting memories and flashbacks in the book. The movie gives us a lot more detail of certain times in Allie and Noah’s life that weren’t actually developed fully in the book.
The Notebook is a very quick read at only 189 pages and a part of me wishes that it was a lot longer. I wish the book showed us the story of young Allie and Noah and let us live and feel their romance and passion and what it meant to them. The fact they fell in love again after fourteen years apart with just a few minutes together would have been more deeply felt by me had I lived through their romance all those years ago.
The film also had a profound affect on me regarding Noah and Allie and the difficulties they faced in old age. I think the impact would have been far greater when reading the book, if I had been shown the whole story of Allie and Noah. And I think this is why I prefer the movie to the book, which is very unusual for me, as I usually dislike or am disappointed with movie adaptations as directors seem to change so much. But the director of The Notebook film was very respectful and there are only minor changes and maybe a different interpretation of the ending. But again, I was okay with it as I actually preferred it to the ending of the book, which was a little ambiguous for my taste.
Overall, I loved The Notebook. Sparks did a great job capturing emotions and pulling hard on my heart strings. It still brought tears to my eyes, although didn’t have me blubbering like the movie. This is a sweet love story. It’s sad as well as beautiful. It also reminds us of our own mortality, of love, loss, life and death. And it broke my heart.
If you enjoy reading love stories or watching romance movies then this book is certainly for you. I really enjoyed it, but for me it doesn’t come close to the impact that the film had on me, but this may be because I already knew the story and what was coming. However, I whole heartedly recommend this book, you won’t be disappointed (I also say, go rent the movie!)
Rating: 4 Stars
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Sphere (1 Nov 2007)
Paperback: 189 pages