At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear…and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding—one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.
It never fails that when there is a new Nicholas Sparks book, you will find this bookworm flipping through it shortly after. This one was no exception and I have to admit I kind of loved and hated this book. I think what I want to see is that after twenty years Nicholas Sparks will finally make a book where someone doesn’t die. Though I mention this point, it actually wasn’t the cause of my hate feelings towards this book. If anything, I have to commend Sparks on being able to incorporate death into the story in such a seemless way.
As much as I loved the book, the one part I hated was Russ’ wife Vivian. I know there’s always this stereotype of a nagging wife, but Vivian’s behavior really took the cake. I was surprised because it’s not often that Sparks makes a woman the bad guy. In fact, I can’t recall a book where he did. But Vivian was a super witch with a b. The way she treated her husband was disgusting and I wanted to reach in and just strangle her or at least slap some sense in him to move on.
What I did love about this book was not the budding relationship between Russ and Emily, but that of him and his daughter. Those moments when Sparks touched on those precious daddy’s little girl moments, were beautiful even when things weren’t going well. I think this book speaks volumes about how important it is for a child to have their father in their life and how fortunate these men should find themselves to be fathers. Though there are a ton of great fathers in this world, as someone who grew up without one, this made me wish my father had been more like Russ.
Great book, just don’t forget the Kleenex!