Sunday, 8 April 2012

Books Read: Nicholas Sparks - The Lucky One

Source - Received from publisher to review 

Do you believe in lucky charms?

While in Iraq, U.S. Marine Logan Thibault finds a photo, half-buried in the dirt, of a woman.  He carries it in his pocket, and from then on his luck begins to change.

Back home, Logan is haunted by thoughts of war.  Over time, he becomes convinced that the woman in the photo holds the key to his destiny.  So he finds the vulnerable and loving Beth and a passionate romance begins.

But Logan battles with the one secret he has kept from Beth: how he found her in the first place.  And it is a secret that could utterly destroy everything they love...

Thank you to Frances at Little Brown Book Group for sending me a copy of this book to review which is being re-released this week to tie-in with the film release starring Zac Efron. This will actually be the first Nicholas Sparks book that I've read before watching the film version as for all the other books that have been made into films I have either never read the book (Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember and Nights in Rodanthe) or read them afterwards (The Notebook, Dear John and The Last Song).

Logan is an ex-Marine who has been drifting since his return from his third tour of Iraq.  During a fishing trip with a fellow veteran, he was advised that he wouldn't settle until he located the woman in the photo that he carried with him at all times.  A photo that he found in Iraq that appears to have kept him safe during many troubling times during his last tour in Iraq.  But who is she, who did the photo belong to and how will he find her?

He eventually identifies that the photo was taken at a fair in Hampton, North Carolina so sets off walking cross country with his dog Zeus.  When he reaches town, after an encounter with the local sheriff, he decides to check into a motel and begin his search for the girl.  He decides to show the photo to single men in the local bars to try and identify who she is but is uneasy when he then sees one of the men go to the phone to call someone so he leaves.  

His first encounter with Beth is when he turns up at the kennels that she runs with her Nana looking for a job.  They take him on and they soon settle into a friendship, then romance, but he doesn't tell her why he had arrived in town.  Beth's son, Ben, especially loves Logan and Zeus being around as he's able to play chess with Logan, something his father hates as it's not manly enough, and play hide-and-seek with Zeus.

Beth's ex, Keith, however is not happy with this arrangement especially since he'd had a run-in with him before he arrived in town, and especially when he's not able to intimidate him to leave like he's been able to with Beth's other boyfriends since they split. 

When Beth finds out about the photo from Keith she doesn't know what to believe anymore, was any of it real?  She confronts Logan who admits that she's the reason he came to town in the first place and he tries to explain how he believed the photo kept him alive but she's angry and distrustful of him.  But when a storm arrives and her son's life is at risk, she is grateful that Logan gave her son his lucky charm...

This book is told in alternate chapters between the three main characters, Logan Thibault, Beth, and Keith Clayton, Beth's ex-husband, and I have to confess it did take me a few chapters to get into this book, which is unusual for me with a Nicholas Sparks novel, but once I did  I was wanting to carry on reading to find out what happened next. 

I've still got a few Nicholas Sparks books left to read so just need to decide which one to read next.

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