A Bend in the Road Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 2002
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A Bend in the Road is a first-rate novel and Nicholas Sparks' finest book yet. Such well-turned books as The Rescue, and Message in a Bottle established him as a writer of skill and persuasiveness, with a particular knack for wry, well-rounded characterisations--qualities well in evidence in this book.
Miles Ryan leads a relatively uneventful life in the small town in which he is sheriff--except for an incident two years previously that changed him irrevocably: the killing (by a hit-and-run driver) of his adored wife. Miles' obsession with uncovering the identity of the driver has led to problems with his nine-year-old son Jonah, who is having difficulties at school. And when Miles finds himself brought together with Jonah's teacher, the attractive Sarah, both of them are soon caught up in a relationship that will force them to re-examine what their lives mean--particularly as Sarah has a secret of her own.
The secret of Sparks' success (here, as in his other books) is to carefully establish the problems of his main protagonists so that we come to be involved in their lives and care about them--before involving them with someone else, who we similarly come to know intimately. It's not an easy task, and many a novelist has come adrift by concentrating too much on the hero or heroine at the expense of those around them. Sparks is much too sure-footed for that, and we are utterly involved with the problems of both Miles and Sarah (not to mention the nine-year-old Jonah, who is handled without a trace of sentimentality, which is a refreshing touch). As the central characters' destinies intertwine, we are as keen for them to recognise each other's virtues as we are that they'll solve the problems that have been ruining their lives. Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Sweet, accessible, uplifting and predictable, the latest love story from Sparks (The Notebook) leaves the reader with just one burning question: Why is this consummate beach book being published in the fall? The nearly thwarted but eventually triumphant romance of deputy sheriff Miles Ryan and second-grade teacher Sarah Andrews goes down as easily as marshmallow fluff and offers about as much real nourishment. Miles's high school sweetheart, Missy, was killed in an unsolved hit and run accident, leaving him to raise their son, Jonah, in New Bern, N.C. Sarah's politically ambitious husband, Michael, dumped her when her ovaries proved inactive, and she fled to New Bern to teach, and love, other people's kids. Miles and Sarah meet at a parent-teacher conference, and the sparks fly. But there's a fly in the ointment as well; an italicized voice threaded among the happy chapters alerts us that Missy's death was caused by someone whose identity, if revealed, could destroy Miles and Sarah's newfound joy. In Sparks's heaven, clouds exist to make silver linings look the brighter. As tough truth shadows their landscape, Miles and Sarah find depths within themselves, and their rekindled light illumines all. New Bern becomes a city of the reborn. Charlie Curtis, Miles's stickler boss, learns to bend; Missy's aimless killer morphs into a healer; and Jonah once again knows a mother's love. The opposite of edgy, with simple sentences and soft-pedaled sex, Sparks's plain vanilla morality will doubtless sell like ice cream on a steamy day. (Sept.)Forecast: Major television and print advertising and an 18-city author tour will broadcast Sparks's latest from the rooftops; expect instant bestsellerdom.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Contrived, one-dimensional storytelling. Shallow, unoriginal, unimaginative characters. A plot equal to the most compelling episode of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." Lapdog pundits, bowing before a major publishing house, spouting publishing-line spiel.
No doubt: another "New York Times" bestseller.
Alas, I'm being too harsh. A BEND IN THE ROAD is not complete birdcage liner--it is a laugh-out-loud, sophomoric work of prose: a story one would expect to find in a spiral notebook stuffed under a mattress. A very worn mattress, mind you, but a mattress just the same.
And to the author, here's a free piece of advice: why not try the actual word, "had," as opposed to your monotonous contractions when the POV is in the past tense (for instance, "he'd," "she'd" "they'd," "agent'd"). This is Gomer Pyle stuff.
"Golly, gee'd. . ."
Again, this is bestselling stuff? Bring me the broom corn. . .
To all of my long-suffering, talented author friends diligently laboring under the shelter of a small publishing house--or are self-publishing--I say: "Take heart!" If this book can sell, any book can. Sorry, Nick. Bummer.
incredibly bothersome; like ploughing through a thick
corn field...and I do mean "corn."
I am currently listening to this book on tape, and just had
to comment on it. It's so easy to "read" that it is actually
hard to read. It plods. It never meets a cliche it doesn't
like. All children "nod" their assent to adult questions.
The hero's palms never fail to "sweat" when he comes near
his lady love. A curt "Thanks!" never fails to rear its cheery little head when the hero is complimented. People look off into the distance sadly, see a boat, a tree, a bench.
If you are looking for minimalism in writing...if you are looking for writing that is barely there at all...this is definitely the book for you . He's done a clever thing: set it up so you want to find out who murdered the hero's wife.
If it weren't for that one carrot leading you on, you'd throw up your hands and say, "Get out of my face with your really
bad writing, Mr. Sparks," and toss the book (or tape) into the trash (or return it to the library, in my case).
But we plod on. Listening to the "warm." The ending better be good.
Better spending your time reading The Corrections- now that's a good use of your time.
A BEND IN THE ROAD was a surprise in that it keeps a sense of mystery going throughout, often leaving the main couples love story and allowing us into the mind of the anonymous "bad guy". Slowly unravelling their story until the shocking big reveal at the end. I honestly didn't know how Sparks was going to wrap things up with this one, his couples doesn't always end up together and that too added to the mystery here.
Sheriff's deputy Miles Ryan is still struggling to come to terms with the death of his beloved wife in a hit-and-run accident nearly two years ago. High school sweethearts, theirs was a love destined to last and Miles can't seem to let go of the grief or the fact that as an officer of the law he's been unable to find the person responsible. If it weren't for their young son Jonah it's unlikely that Miles would find the strength to get through the day.
This brings into play Jonah's second grade teacher Sarah Andrews. When Jonah begins having trouble keeping up in school Sarah offers to tutor him and a tentative relationship begins to form. Sarah is running away from a bad divorce (is there a good one?) and has a few skeletons in her closet as well.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
While I don't think it is one of Nicholas Sparks better books, I did think it was a great read. I would have liked for the ending to be more detailed and less rushed.Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
My wife is the true reader and loved this title and most of Nicholas Sparks booksPublished 19 months ago by Grumpy Gramp
I enjoyed the first 2/3 of this book ~ but I felt the last quarter fell short and I was disappointed with how the author choose to end this novel.Published on April 12 2014 by Robert Lambert
This book was excellent. Kept you reading till the end. Easy to keep track of all the character. Would read more of this writers books.Published on April 2 2014 by Joan