This here’s a bit of a book review. I just finished A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read a number of his books because the way I can best describe my desire to read them is there is so much negativity in the world that Sparks reminds us of the good stuff and how we must take the bad with the good. He’s not overly literary, his stories are easy to follow and read, and he has a heartwarming tone to his stories. And, like any romance novel, they can get pretty sappy which you may or may not like, depending on your preference.
Personally, I can only handle so much sap. I like that a lot of Sparks’ stories aren’t overly unrealistic and they typically have a tragic plot twist in the end which is interesting to see how it unfolds. There are some things that Sparks’ does that I’m not a fan of. One is that almost every story involves people who were once in love rekindling their old flame while they’re already married or have been married to other people and have children. Most of his characters find themselves stuck in a relationship they don’t want to be in and it seems out of desperation that they rekindle old flames, whether it’s portrayed as their “true love” or not.
It seems that every main character is downtrodden in some way, whether from divorce, affected by a death, or their life just didn’t turn out how they wanted it to and they feel glum. Pick any of those three and a protagonist will fall under it. They seem to be in a vulnerable state and that’s where the story kicks off.
I do like the flow of his works. His stories have a natural arc to them and don’t drag on for too long nor are they too quickly wrapped up. Each has its own pace which matches the way the plot should go.
Another thing I’m not a fan of but was in A Bend in the Road many times was the phrase “making love.” I hate that phrase. For one thing, it sounds so lame and old-timey. It sounds like love is only love when people are getting it on. The whole story is a love story but the only time one “makes love” is when they’re doing something any two (or more) people can do. I’d rather read a full romantic sex scene than read those two little words; they make me cringe. The phrase “making love” conjures up images of two adults who have no idea how to have good sex.
I’m not an overly religious person by any means but I do like that Sparks has continued to keep God and Christianity in his novels. Not because I’m a zealot by any means but because I like that someone is willing to send a good message and keep God in his work in a world that seems so hellbent on pushing Him out of it. It goes to show you can have a good story and still have God involved.
All in all, A Bend in the Road was decent. The main character, Miles Ryan, is constantly described as a cool-headed, dedicated sheriff who’s, overall, a good man. Despite the tragedy of his wife being killed in a hit-and-run, he takes care of their son and his job. However, as the story goes on, I saw some things that were very uncharacteristic from Miles and also saw some flaws in how he handled his job, something some research with an LEO could’ve prevented. However, putting those aside, not bad. If you like Sparks’ books already, give it a read. If you’re not a fan, read something else.