How far can you run from your past?
Jeremy Marsh once vowed he would never do three things: leave New York City, give his heart away again after barely surviving one failed marriage, and, most of all, become a parent.
Now Jeremy is living in the small town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, married to Lexie, the woman he loves, and anticipating the birth of their daughter. Life seems to be settling down - until a disturbing and mysterious message appears from the past. Wounds he thought had healed are re-opened, and Jeremy realises his old life is closer to him than he thinks.
When we last left 37-year-old Jeremy Marsh (a scant six months ago, in Sparks's April pub True Believer), the science columnist had traveled from his New York base to Boone Creek, N.C., to get a story and ended up falling in love with Lexie Darnell, the 30-year-old town librarian. Now Lexie's pregnant but it's true love (and a portable job) that's allowing divorc Jeremy to move down so they can marry and build a life together. The book centers on the tension-filled runup to the wedding. Sparks pulls out all the smalltown stops psychic grandmother, meddling mayor, sullen townie ex, jealous best friends and offers Mars/Venus commentary on what makes his characters tick. Jeremy's writer's block, instead of heightening the will-they-or-won't-they tension, is as enervating for readers as it is for him. More compelling are the mysterious e-mails Jeremy receives that suggest Lexie may not be telling the truth (about who the father is, for one thing), and the character of Lexie's psychic grandmother, Doris, who has correctly predicted the sex of every child born in the town. As the wedding gets closer (and house renovations suck more and more money from Jeremy's dwindling savings), Jeremy and Lexie have some serious talking to do, and Sparks throws in a substantial zinger at the end. It's majorly manipulative and totally effective. Have plenty of tissues on hand.