Title: The Longest Ride
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: April 23rd 2012
Genre/s: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback; 471 pages
Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together. A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
Just a warning, if you haven’t read the book already, your going to ball your eyes out!
The Longest Ride is simply a story about life and love. It tells the tale of two relationships, one that’s seen half a century and has survived the turbulent ups and downs of life, and another that’s just beginning to blossom, that struggles to stay strong when things go awry.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel like I have with all the other Nicholas Sparks books I’ve read. The novel is set in a way that tells two stories, each chapter is told in one of the three character’s perspectives. Sophia and Luke’s story is told as it is happening now, while Ira’s life story and relationship with Ruth is a retelling.
This novel is very sad and on more than one occasion I found myself pulling out my box of tissues. I really enjoyed how both stories were told, though at the beginning I was skeptical. I often find when a novel is telling more than one major plot line, I end up getting confused. Game of Thrones is one that really throws me off with all the different characters. I also end up getting bored with half the characters and skip character parts. However this was not the case with this novel.
Ira and Ruth: I found the telling of their story quite sad because Ira is in grave danger from injury and the only thing keeping him alive is a vision of his wife Ruth, who passed away nine years earlier. Ruth keeps Ira alive for a few days in his injured condition by forcing him to retell the story of their life together. I found this extremely sad because Ira was very injured and stayed that way for days buried alive in his car in the snow. I kept wanting and wishing for someone to find him and help him. Unfortunately if that happened then we wouldn’t have heard about his life and adventures. Ruth and Ira’s life told a story about love and loss. It addressed the hardships that married couples often go through and how despite all, their love prevailed even in the face of death.
“You made me happy and you made me laugh, and if I could do it all over again, I would not hesitate. Look at our life, at the trips we took, the adventures we had. As your father used to say, we shared the longest ride together, this thing called life, and mine has been filled with joy because of you.”
Sophia and Luke: They met by chance, Luke coming to Sophia’s rescue, her night in shining armor – well knight in a cowboy hat. From there, their story begins, both from two different worlds, brought together by fate when she needed someone to rescue her. But as their story unfolds it’s really the opposite, that in fact Luke was the one who needed the saving. Together thay face the hurdles of life , and secrets threaten to tear them apart. But in the end it’s the love they feel for each other that keeps them together.
“You don’t know how strong something is until you actually test it.”
Sophia was refreshing, despite living in a sorority house, she didn’t conform to the stereotype. Her personality was more nose in a book than that of her sisters. I could really relate to her on an emotional level. I was very surprised by her actions in the end. She didn’t give up on Luke even when she wanted/had to walk away.
Luke, oh how many times the book went flying across the room in a fit at his actions. I swear he may have actually hit his head one too many times. I was very sad at Luke’s revelations and the secrets he kept and what he was dealing with on the inside, the turmoil and guilt. He made some very stupid decisions but in the end I realise that he needed to make those decisions in order to see the whole picture.
Overall the book was very good and I can’t wait to watch the movie. I’m very thankful to have read the book first.
My rating: 4.5/5