Book Review: The Return by Nicholas Sparks
The Return is a great reflective read!
The Return is a great reflective read!
In the romantic tradition of Dear John, Nicholas Sparks returns with the story of an injured Navy doctor -- and two women whose secrets will change the course of his life in this #1 New York Times bestseller.
Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he'd inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.
Tending to his grandfather's beloved beehives, Trevor isn't prepared to fall in love with a local . . . yet, from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson that he can't ignore. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she's hiding.
Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road. Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather's death, but she offers few clues -- until a crisis triggers a race to uncover the true nature of Callie's past, one more intertwined with the elderly man's passing than Trevor could ever have imagined.
In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie's secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.
My Personal Review
The Return by Nicholas Sparks is an entertaining and engaging read!
I patiently waited until Veterans Day to post this review. Why? Because it's main character is a Navy Veteran who struggles with PTSD. I can't think of a better day than today to champion a book that will not only entertain, but also bring potential help to a population of our countries's heroes who might suffer with emotional trauma. Now, lest you think this is a self help book, think again, it's definitely not! True to his previous works, Sparks will not disappoint you as he holds to a model of chivalrous relationships and endearing romance woven throughout the book.
The author manages to craft a story of mystery, love, and hope while gently giving glimmers of perspective into the life of an injured war veteran, Dr. Trevor Benson, the narrator in the story. His voice is very authentic as he shares his trials with both the physical and mental manifestations of PTSD.
The gem in this work, however, is the way in which the author cleverly interjects tools to assist those that are experiencing this delayed stress syndrome. The novel, The Return utilizes the main character, Trevor, to model a very healthful lifestyle of conscious choices to regain his life back. The tools presented to the reader include, but are not limited to Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and honest evaluations of one's own feelings of fear.
The acknowledgment that some of the greatest challenges to a healthy mental life circle around the fear of rejection, judgement, anger, and disappointment is clearly presented in this book. Recognizing that we can only control our own behaviors and as such we are not responsible for other's behaviors is also a theme tucked away within the story.
Here's my takeaway after reading The Return. I love it! It's good for someone who is wanting to escape and relax with a good mystery, as well as those introspective folks like myself who are always thinking beyond the words. You really get two for the price of one in this book...entertainment and advice! The Return captures your attention from the beginning, as a trail of clues grows throughout the chapters and the reader is left to figure it out. There are also stepping stones of hope carefully placed at equal distance throughout the book. The author's mission to impart wisdom with threads of tangible help to victims of PTSD while still entertaining the audience is priceless.
Yep....this is a good one. It's strikingly obvious to me why The Return by Nicholas Sparks is on the "#1 New York Best Sellers" list, along with all of his other novels; It's uplifting, relaxing, tender, intelligently written and has a steady rhythm that 2020 so desperately needs! Enjoy!
Thank you to Grand Central Publishing an imprint of Hachette Book Group for the complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review of this book, but simply asked to read the work in it's entirety and give my honest opinion.