Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks

A few years ago (quite a few actually), having just finished vacationing with our best friends at the Great Wolf Lodge, we were getting ready to head home from Kansas City. While it had been a fun vacation, all of us were tired. And a bit cranky. The kids were on the verge of shattering our nerves and I was praying the four hour ride home would be...peaceful.

"Have you read The Notebook?" asked my dear friend Amy, handing over her copy as we parted ways.

I'm not sure if my husband has ever forgiven me for completely ignoring the crying kids in the backseat while his wife read, sniffled, and cried for the duration of our trip home. (I think it's why he gets annoyed every time I try to force the DVD on him as well.) Anyway the point to this verbose anecdote? It was my introduction to Nicholas Sparks. And my sensitive soul was hooked on his works.

I'm a fan of Mr. Sparks, but I have to pace myself when reading (or watching) his creations. Since I'm likely to cry over a well-crafted soap commercial, you can imagine how I'm affected by A Walk to Remember. Needless to say, I greatly respect this author. So, when my good friend Diane brought me Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas and his brother, Micah, I was excited to read a piece of his non-fiction! This certainly wouldn't be a tear-jerker.

Au contraire.

The book intertwines a three-week trip that Nick embarks upon with his brother and his own personal history, beginning with his childhood. And while I dived into the book thinking, "How lucky for this guy to become an overnight success," I certainly have different sentiments now. Mr. Sparks writes about the human heart so beautifully because he himself has been struck by tragedy himself. And not just once. I'm fairly certain Nicholas Sparks would trade his fortune for the family members he's lost.

But don't think this is a sad book. It's not! There's actually a fair bit of humor. And this author is so talented that you think you're reading a travel/memoir, then all of the sudden, wham! You just learned a lesson about life...

I myself have been working, working, working. Trying to finish this project. Trying to get to that project. But not really living. And that's what Mr. Sparks was forgetting to do. Live. Enjoy the gift of life. And I'm sure this is the message he wants to pass on to everyone who reads his books.

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