My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A tale of two love stories set in different times intersected by fate.
Luke & Sophia meet during a bull riding event and connect with each other. As they grow closer to each other and love blooms between them, their relationship hits a road block in the form of Luke's stubbornness to give up his bull riding career in spite of his life threatening injuries.
Parallel to this we have the love story of Ira & Ruth set in another time spanning across 75 years of courtship, marriage and togetherness.
These two stories are told from three viewpoints: Ira's, Luke's & Sophia's. Ira is in an accident and reminisces about his marriage to Ruth while awaiting help. His memories of their life together are aided by the spirit of Ruth encouraging Ira to hang on when he wants to give up.
Luke & Sophie meanwhile struggle with the emotions and their feelings for each other mixed with Luke's stubbornness about his bull riding career to help clear the debts that his mother owes to the banks on their ranch. As Luke struggles with his inner demons about returning to the bull riding circuit after his horrendous injuries and Sophia struggles to make him see sense, Ira shares his feelings on the art that he collected over the years with his wife and what it means to him. While the monetary aspect of the art was tremendous for Ira the memories that each canvas holds about Ruth is worth much much more.
The book moves at a sedate pace between both love stories leading to a fitting climax.
This was the only 2nd book by Nicolas Sparks that I have read. For a guy who almost never reads love stories, I enjoyed this one.
I particularly loved Ira's story, the depth, the love and the feelings that he had for his wife even after 9 years after her death was the clincher for me. I am ending this review with my favorite quote from the book: "If there is a heaven, we will find each other again, for there is no heaven without you".
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