The Return by Nicholas Sparks | Book Review

I’m going to admit to it, right here and right now. I absolutely love Nicholas Sparks. As someone who generally reads mostly thrillers, contemporaries and more recently, fantasy, this seems a little bit far fetched. Irrespective, I absolutely do. I love the way Nicholas Sparks books make me feel – I love the bubble of tragedy, romance and excitement that Nicholas throws me into with every chapter and I crave the ugly cry at the end. The Return by Nicholas Sparks was absolutely no exception to this – although it did come without ugly cry, maybe I’ve finally built up a Sparks sob tolerance.

The Return by Nicholas Sparks Book Review

The Return by Nicholas Sparks Book Review

The Return by Nicholas Sparks centres on Trevor, an ex-military doctor who has recently lost his grandfather to a stroke. He inherits his grandfather’s cabin in New Bern, North Carolina. He’s due to undertake a psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins but returns to New Bern to get his grandfather’s affairs in order – principally because his grandfather, aged 90, suffered his stroke on the side of the road in South Carolina – a good 10 hours drive from where he lived in New Bern. Trevor is concerned by the reasons for his grandfather’s journey and sets upon a task to unravel what it was that made his grandfather drive this enormous distance before his untimely death. He meets Callie, a young girl who works nearby and who her grandfather had taken a particular fondness for. All the while investigation these confusing circumstances, Trevor meets local deputy sheriff Natalie and instantly falls for her. With Callie’s evasiveness and Natalie’s secrecy, Trevor has a lot to think about and figure out with regards to the two new women in his life.

Sparks has done it again with another fantastic romance

This book is a lot. We have road trips and road-side bombs and all sorts of other plot devices that aren’t particularly unique but work so beautifully together. Trevor was stationed in Afghanistan, working as an orthopaedic surgeon, when a bomb hit the hospital just as he was leaving the building. He was seriously injured in the blast and suffered from PTSD as a result, Callie claims to be 19 years old, but appears otherwise and Natalie has secrets buried deep. I loved how the story unravelled, slowly but surely from a first person perspective – I loved how the characters all expressed such a love for Trevor’s grandfather Carl and I particularly loved the scenes involving Carl’s beloved beehives – I feel like I learnt a lot about bees just from this novel, which was an unexpected bonus.

My favourite ever Nicholas Sparks novel is The Guardian – by no means was The Return up there with The Guardian, but it was definitely a fantastic adventure through grief, love, unexpected events and secrets kept and shared.