Ira Levinson is trapped in a car wreck and awaits his imminent death. At 91, he feels he has nothing to live for. He has lost his wife, but his memory of her is so strong that her spirit comes to his aid, keeping him alive. Together they relive the bittersweet story of their marriage.
Meanwhile, in a different part of North Carolina, a handsome cowboy comes to the aid of Sophia, a university student, and their attraction is instant. Sophia and Luke make a very cute couple despite their completely different cultures. It is a pure pleasure to read about their courtship as their relationship grows and encounters serious obstacles.
The Longest Ride is fairly slow paced, but I enjoyed the way Sparks takes his time to tell the story and establish the characters. I love the fact that both heroes of this tale are such romantics. As Ira says to his wife:
If we’d never met, I think I would have known that my life wasn’t complete. And I would have wandered the world in search of you, even if I didn’t know who I was looking for.
Aww… Another favorite passage comes from Ruth’s letter to Ira:
And yet, in truth it is in the quiet details of our life together where I have found the most meaning. Your smile at breakfast always made my heart leap, and the moment in which you reached for my hand never failed to reassure me of the rightness of the world.
This was the most poignant message of this novel, the way romance is not just about the grand gestures and adventures but also about simply being together day after day. Thanks a lot for making me cry again, Nicholas Sparks!