In January 2003 Nicholas Sparks and his brother Micah set off on a three-week trip around the world.
An adventure by any measure, this trip was especially meaningful as it marked another milestone in the life journey of two brothers who, by their early thirties, were the only surviving members of their family. As Nicholas and Micah travel the globe, from the Taj Mahal to Machu Picchu, the story of their family slowly unfolds.
Just before Nicholas' marriage he and Micah lost their mother in a horseriding accident; a week short of Nicholas' triumphant debut as a novelist with THE NOTEBOOK, the brothers lost their father to a car crash, and just a few short years later they were forced to say goodbye to their sister who died of brain cancer at the young age of 36. Against the backdrop of the main wonders of the world the brothers come together to heal the wounds of this tragic legacy and maintain their determination to live life to its fullest.
When bestselling author Sparks (The Notebook; Message in a Bottle; etc.) receives a brochure offering a three-week trip around the world, it's not hard for him to persuade Micah, his older brother, to join him in touring Guatemala's Mayan ruins, Peru's Incan temples, Easter Island, the killing fields in Cambodia, the Taj Mahal and Ethiopian rock cathedrals. His account of the trip is refreshingly honest and perceptive. At each stop, the brothers, both deeply committed to their families, cover the crucial moments in a life full of familial love and tragedy: Nick's role as the middle child always feeling left out; his marriage in 1989; the loss of Nick and Micah's mother two months later after a horseback riding accident; the death of Nick's first baby and the physical problems of his second son; the death of their father in a car accident; and the passing of their younger sister from a brain tumor. As the brothers travel together through these mythical sites and share candid thoughts, they find themselves stunned by fate's turns, realizing that a peaceful moment may be shattered at any time. Weaving in vignettes of tenderness and loss with travelogue-like observations, Sparks's account shows how he and his brother both evolved on this voyage. "Somehow there was a chance we could help each other, and in that way, I began to think of the trip less as a journey around the world than a journey to rediscover who I was and how I'd developed the way I did."