Nicholas Sparks - the Notebook

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The work of Nicholas Sparks is known by all teenage girls and romantic women around the country. He idealizes love and gives young women the hope of finding a fairytale romance. Sparks also gives hope that not all love will leave a woman heartbroken, and that there is a possibility of “happily ever after.” His novels are usually based on extreme circumstances, such as two lovers separated for decades, or a young man sent off to war, leaving the love of his life back in the United States. Sometimes these relationships work out, and other times they gracefully fail, but in all of Sparks’ novels there is some sense of the impossible being overcome by true love, and this is enough to keep me, as well as the rest of the country, reading.

The setting of all of Sparks’ novels is in the coastal region of North Carolina, where Sparks currently resides. The Notebook takes place in New Bern, North Carolina, in the years 1932, 1946, and the present day, which is perfect for this novel as it adds an extra spark of romanticism, since the beach naturally carries an air of budding love. Also, the house that Noah Calhoun decides to buy and fix up, the same one he brought Allie Nelson to when they were young, is so historic and beautiful, and these sorts of houses are only found in the older areas of coastal North Carolina and South Carolina. The importance of the setting is pretty clear. The romance that the beach and historic time frame creates is unmatchable and impressions a sense of idealism yet relativism to the story.

The Notebook was made into a film in 2004. The beginning of the movie was filmed in the village of Seabrook in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Most of the scenes were filmed in South Carolina, staying mostly true to the novel’s North Carolina setting. Other settings include Canada and California. Though a few of the details differ from the novel, the film version is wonderful and Sparks and the directors could not have done any better. The cast is...
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