BOOK REVIEW: A Bend in the Road
By: Rose Lauren Mariano
If you love romance novels like me, no doubt you will enjoy another bestseller from Nicholas Sparks entitled the A Bend in the Road. Sparks, the famous author of tearjerkers like A Walk to Remember and Message in a Bottle brings us a story of true love, despair, hope and new beginnings.
The story centers on the father and son Miles Ryan and his young son Jonah living in the small town of New Bern, North Carolina. The Ryans have earlier experienced tragedy when the woman they love both, Missy, died of a hit-and-run accident. Having no answers on the cause of death of his wife, Miles Ryan is haunted by her memories, and this is likewise felt by his son. Jonah has a tough time coping with the death of his mother, but finds a confidante in his second grade teacher, the always accommodating and warm Miss Sarah Andrews. Jonah, who was still grieving the death of Missy cannot read and write, and it is Sarah who patiently taught him as the other teachers left him alone out of sympathy. Sarah, who wanted to help the young boy set-up and parent-teacher conference and this is where the first sparks flew.
There was an undeniable connection between Miles and Sarah, but there are some things that cannot be forgotten. Sarah Andrews has a story herself, as she once had a perfect marriage that ended bitterly as she found out that she was incapable of bearing children. This is one of the reasons she loved teaching kids like Jonah, it made her feel like a mother to them. To get a fresh start after her failed marriage, she moved to New Bern for a fresh start in her life. Both Sarah and Miles never expected to feel love again, but as a story of new beginnings, they find each other as they try to mend their broken hearts. Family and friends are thrilled for their newfound affection for each other, but not are all good for the couple. They are headed for a bump in the road, as a pivotal person in the couple’s lives reveals a shocking secret that may spell the end of their relationship.
The story of Miles, Jonah, and Sarah is narrated by the person responsible for Missy’s hit-and-run accident. Through this person’s eyes, we see the guilt and pain as he witness what has happened to the people who loved and cherished Missy. As you get engrossed in the story, you will soon realize that this person’s secret has enough power to destroy the lives of Miles, Jonah and Sarah. The truth is devastating. But like any story of the great Nicholas Sparks, you are to expect a story of unconditional love that exists between two people.
It is a bond that remains standing after the most tragic events. Slowly, the author reveals the sad tragic details of Missy’s accident, and Miles' anger and resentment over no arrest of a suspect and finally the revelation that may greatly influence the new relationship Miles has found. If you know early on the identity of the hit-and-run suspect, you can watch with amazement as the story unfolds. If you don't pick up on the clues, you'll be stunned when the answer is revealed. Either way, you'll be surprised at the climax.
The true beauty of the story is the conclusion which was somewhat open-ended. Readers see Miles' choice, but they must provide their own reasons for his decision. As Sparks often writes, A Bend in the Road is filled with incredible love, loss of love, death and mourning, which all has proven to be a success. No doubt, A Bend in the Road, will be loved by his legions of fans as well.