Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Notebook—The Beauty of the Long Haul

I don’t read a lot of romance novels. Are you shocked? Truth be told, it’s just not the genre I gravitate to when I’m strolling the aisles in Barnes & Noble. But there is one book weighted with romantic scenes I haven’t been able to shake. Whether you believe the writing is phenomenal or average, Noah and Allie’s story in The Notebook will surely choke you up.

And here’s why…

No matter how many obstacles a couple faces, deep down we want them to make it for the long haul. Throughout the novel we discover how Noah, in all his risk-taking adventurous glory, leads Allie back to herself, reminding her of who she really is, a painter at heart. There’s the cliché parental objection to Noah as a poor and unacceptable choice for Allie but somehow it didn’t bother me. And in some ways it only intensified my hope that they’d end up together. Not only is Noah portrayed as shedding light on Allie’s dreams, but it’s Allie who remains the inspiration behind the house he builds—his dream.

Years pass. It seems the memories slip away; the connection loses its tethered hold. That is until their paths cross again and Noah and Allie must ultimately confront the force behind their feelings. Ah, this is the stuff of love.

I smiled at the kissing scenes, cried during the good-byes, and laughed at the playful way they teased each other. I felt like I knew Allie and Noah and in some ways I’m sure I do. We all do. Nicholas Sparks succeeds at tapping into that emotional trigger we all undergo while falling in love. But what I admire most about this book is how it unravels. I respect the long haul message.

We subtly learn that as an older woman Allie battles Alzheimer’s disease. She struggles to remember all those beautiful memories she and Noah shared and at times becomes frustrated to recall who Noah is at all. But he reads to her from her own journal and recounts their story. Once again he brings her back to herself.

Every time I watch the movie I’m a bawling mess. It reminds me of those initials feelings I experienced reading the book years ago. Pile of mush.

What book or movie turns you into a pile of mush?

*photos from Flickr


Katie Ganshert said...

I actually like the movie better than the book, which NEVER happens! I tried reading the book after the movie, and couldn't get into it.

Regardless, I LOVE the story! One of my all-time favorite romances. :)

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

I read the book first and loved it. Then watched the movie and IT WAS SO MUCH BETTER!

Yeah, that's a fave of mine.

BUT! One story I love and I recommend highly is Remember Me with Robert Pattinson. GREAT! He actually acts in it.

Also, gooey and love it romance - Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley.

My favorite line from the Notebook is when they're at the beach and Noah says "If you're a bird, I'm a bird." LOVE IT!

Great post.

Gia Cooper said...

I thought the book was terrible but cried during the movie (is was SO much better).

The Last of The Mohicans is my movie. I love it.

Pepper said...

Okay Wendy,
I read the book - but haven't seen the movie. Now, I think I may change my mind and watch it. I wept through the last 3 chapters of the book and couldn't imagine the movie doing a better job.

Gia, I'm with you on the Last of the Mohicans movie. Whew...good stuff. Love P & P too, Bonnie - and Julia had a GREAT post about that on the Alley Tuesday.

Julie Lessman's books in the Daughters of Boston series have a wonderful 'lasting love' with the parents of the O'Connor kids. Even with the trouble at times, you feel the depth of their love.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I saw the movie. Had to. EVERYONE said it was fab....and it was. Empty tissue boxes. sigh. love this story.

My father-in-law has retired as a physician. He is caring for my mother-in-law...same basic boat at Notebook. He cares for her at their home. She gazes around the room, not recognizing anything. He says, "She did so much for me. The least I can do is take care of her now."

Heart flutters, tears come. So sweet.

Misha Gerrick said...

I loved the Notebook. I wish I can find it to read.

As for crying, I almost never cry when I read tear jerkers.

The tears creep up on me when I read anything else.


Keli Gwyn said...

I'm moved to tears all the time, including when I read and when I watch movies. I won't bore you with the complete list, since I even cried at the end of Toy Story 3.

Two movies that stand out are both true stories, which make them even more powerful experiences for me. The Young Victoria gets me every time. I love seeing how she rose above her controlling mother to become queen and the role Prince Albert played in her life. Their love is inspiring, as is the portrayal of what a tremendous support he was to her--a real life hero, the kind I have.

Inspiring is the word I'd use for The King's Speech, too, which moved me deeply. I rarely watch R-rated movies, but I'm glad I made an exception. (While the language is strong, it's not used gratuitously, which is so often the case.) I was thrilled to see the king overcome his impediment and enjoyed watching the relationship with his speech therapist grow.

Amber Holcomb said...

Confession time: I've never seen The Notebook! Crazy, I know. ;)

Keli, I cry every time I see Toy Story 3, as well! I cried in theaters both times I saw it, and I cried when I saw it at home over Christmas break. I love that whole series, but that third one especially gets me--maybe because I know what it's like leaving home for college. :'(

Anyway, another movie that makes me cry every time I see it is Though None Go With Me. It's a beautiful love story, but there are so many sad parts. I love it, but I just can't help but cry! Highly recommend it, though. :)


Keli Gwyn said...

Amber, I'm glad I'm not the only one who weeps over Toy Story 3. I think it really gets to me because my one and only is away at college, and I miss her.

Sarah Forgrave said...

I bawled when I saw this movie too. I haven't read the book, but it sounds like it may be worth a pass in favor of the movie.

The Anne of Green Gables movies always move me. I have them practically memorized, but there are certain spots that choke me up every time.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Katie, The acting was superb. I read the book before the movie came out so I couldn't compare, but I remember liking it.

Bonnie, There are so many awesome scenes from that movie! I'll have to watch P&P.

Gia, Sparks was able to tap into my gooey love side so I liked the book, even though one might argue it wasn't written all that well. I don't plan to be that one today though...too tired.
And LoftheM is very good!

Pepper, I'm all about lasting love. Watch the movie Pepper and give us a report (well, at least me).

Oh Mary, A real life example of this moves me. People are so fragile and I'm deeply touched by those who care for their spouse long into the marriage.

Misha, Trying to figure out what kind of books make you cry. Hmmm. I cried while reading The Book Thief too (but obviously that isn't a romance).

Keli, My kids LOVE Toy Story 3. We have too many toys around here with those characters and my second daughter was Jesse for Halloween.

I need to see The King's Speech. I've heard SO many good things!

Oh Amber, Sad and a love story. Now that's my kind of combo. I must sound quite strange, but I like sad movies and books. I'll check into that one.

Keli, Does she have any toys with her name written on them? Their shoes maybe? ;)

Sarah, I'm such a sucker for it every single time it comes on. I get completely hooked. (And lately it's been coming on a lot.)

Thanks for playing. Glad to read a few I need to check out.
~ Wendy

Amber Holcomb said...


I think Though None Go With Me is perfect for you, then! :) It's sad, but so powerful and sweet! Plus, it's clean with a clear Christian message, without being preachy or fake, in my opinion. :)

I'm thinking about watching it tonight with one of my friends here at college who hasn't seen it... :)


Angie Dicken said...

I loved both the book and the movie. I think I read the book in a day (traveling!). The one book that stuck with me is what I blogged about on Monday...Thorn In My Heart.
Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't read romance because of the emotional ties it gives me with the characters even after the book is over! :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Wendy, I love that you shared this post. I wondered all along which romance book you'd choose :) Like most of the other commentors, I liked the movie better than the book. I ended up caring so much about the characters and rooted for them all the way. I remember liking the movie A Walk to Remember better than the book Sparks wrote as well. But he sure can weave a love story and make me fall in love with romance all over again.

Amber Holcomb said... we ended up watching No Reservations instead. Another great movie! :)


Debra E. Marvin said...

one of my sobber movies is Out of Africa. The scene where Karen talks about Denys at his gravesite rips my heart out everytime.

And Titanic. That was the kind of movie that proved embarrassing at the theater--half the audience was sobbing near the end.

The happily ever afters are great for books but it seems we cry more at the lost love endings of movies.

Another Sparks book as movie: Nights in Rodanthe. I held it together until the horse scene at the end.