Struggling to care for her sick father and raise her teenage children alone, a divorced mother spends the weekend at a North Carolina inn, only to meet a former surgeon running from his past.
Adrienne Willis is 45 and has been divorced for three years, abandoned by her husband for a younger woman. The trials of raising her teenage children and caring for her sick father have worn her down, but at the request of a friend and in hopes of respite, she's gone to the coastal village of Rodanthe in North Carolina to tend the local inn for the weekend. With a major storm brewing, the time away doesn't look promising...until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives.
At 54, Paul is a successful surgeon, but in the previous six months his life has unraveled into something he doesn't recognize. Estranged from his son and recently divorced, he's sold his practice and his home and has journeyed to this isolated town in hopes of closing a painful chapter in his past. Adrienne and Paul come together as the storm brews over Rodanthe, but what begins between them over the weekend will resonate throughout the rest of their lives, intertwining past and future, love and loss.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
One of Nicholas Sparks’ shorter novels, Nights in Rodanthe is a tender, slow-burn love story about second chances and midlife redemption. Adrienne and Paul are emotionally wounded divorcées who cross paths at a beachside inn, where they make a quick and warm connection. When an angry storm sequesters the strangers indoors, their bond turns into a transcendent, soul-baring affair that completely recasts their beliefs about family and life. Sparks’ gift for taking familiar characters and revealing their extraordinary layers makes this brisk, bittersweet read soar.
Sparks (A Bend in the Road, etc.) logs more miles on the winding high road of romance with the story of two middle-aged people who meet by chance in the small North Carolina coastal town of Rodanthe. The impassioned but doomed romance seems to owe much to Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County. Once again, a housewife who has focused on everyone but herself indulges in a brief, intense, secret affair with a stranger who changes her life forever. As the story begins, Adrienne Willis is 60, the divorced mother of three grown children. To help her troubled daughter cope with the untimely recent death of her husband, Adrienne tells her the tale of her love affair, which took place 15 years before. At the time, Adrienne was an uptight matron whose ex-husband had just left her for a younger woman. This rejection colors her entire life, and Sparks realistically portrays a vulnerable and isolated woman who throws herself into raising her children to escape her despair. Paul Flanner, her paramour, is a surgeon and an obsessive workaholic with no genuine connection to his wife or son, whose world completely falls apart when one of his patients inexplicably dies. Sparks builds a taut, plausible relationship between his protagonists, but even fans may be irked by the obviousness of their story and the inevitability of their fate.