I read A Walk to Remember, The Last Song, and The Notebook written by Nicholas Sparks a couple of years ago. It is around the same time that I bought A Bend in the Road. After reading two of his works back to back, this one has been on my reading list since then. The story of this novel focuses on Miles Ryan, a widower with a young son, and a teacher Sarah Andrews who is new to town and in need of a fresh start.
The story begins with the death of Miles’s wife Missy, in a hit-and-run accident. Miles and Missy are high school sweethearts; Miles is left devastated after his wife’s death and becomes obsessed to find out the driver of the car that hit Missy. The couple has a young son Jonah, who also isn’t coping well with his mother’s death and is troubled. Sarah Andrews is new in town. She has left Baltimore after a difficult divorce and wants a fresh start. A second-grade teacher by profession, she feels sympathetic towards Jonah from the beginning and by extension towards Miles.
Sarah and Miles feel a pull towards each other, and soon enough as they spend more time together, they feel happier than they have in years. The romantic build-up between Miles and Sarah is somewhat predictable, but it didn’t really bother me. Both the characters have their own issues because of their past, and at times, it keeps them on guard. It is satisfying and cute to see these two troubled characters fall in love and make it work. They have a very sweet romance, and Sarah is so fond of Jonah, and it helps him, slowly and steadily.
The mystery of Missy’s death is something that kept me guessing for a long time while reading, but after a point, it became clear who is responsible for Missy’s death. There are chapters in between that don’t have a specific narrator; all we realize is that this person is responsible for Missy’s death, and it could threaten Miles and Sarah’s relationship. It added an element of mystery to this love story. Some of the plot contexts relating to the social environment, and social perspective now feel a little dated, but this book was published in 2001.
Since this is my fourth Nicholas Sparks novel; I could spot some similarities in the way the story unfolds. It doesn’t take anything away from my reading experience. I still enjoyed reading Miles and Sarah’s story. I wanted to read a sweet type of romance with a good overall story and characters; this novel fits the bill. A Bend in the Road is a beautiful love story about two people who have suffered in life recently, and when they come together, they find a way to move on.
*Click on the book cover above to get a copy.