Introduction: The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Each day, you make choices. Even when you decide to do nothing, you made the choice to do nothing. And some choices are a lot easier to make than others. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks is about the kinds of choices we face in life.
An American novelist, Nicholas Sparks published his debut novel, The Notebook, in 1996, and to date, has written 18 novels, many of which have been made into films. The Choice will be in movie theaters in 2016. The films have grossed $855,441,981 worldwide. According to Amazon:
“Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 97 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 65 million copies in the United States alone.”
That is quite an accomplishment for an author. I have never read any of the books that Nicholas Sparks wrote, even though I have been tempted many times to read The Notebook. I decided to buy and read The Choice because I read a blog post that featured five books that are being made into films, and will be out shortly, and the book was among them.
The other four books mentioned in the post are: Paper Towns by John Green, Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.
UPDATE: First Published June 2015
Have you read?
The Story: The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks starts off with the Prologue set in present day (2007 when the book was first published), with the main character Travis Parker, reflecting on a happier time in his life when he was a child, when his father would tell him hair raising bedtime stories.
He is also thinking about his life today, and the reader knows that something has gone terribly wrong in his life, but not quite sure what. The Prologue sets the tone for what’s to come in this romantic novel.
In the first chapter of The Choice by Nicholas Sparks, the reader is transported to 1996, when Travis Parker is in his early thirties. He lives in a small town in North Carolina, where he grew up, and now owns a waterfront home. He has three friends – Matt, Joe and Laird – whom he has known all his life, and who are all happily married.
A veterinarian, Travis is satisfied with his life, and enjoys doing outdoorsy activities with his friends. Although, since they got married, Matt, Joe and Laird are less available to do some “guy” things with their single friend. Some of the wives believe that Travis has commitment issues because his romantic relationships usually last only a few months.
Gabby Holland moves next door to Matt, and she moved to the small town to be closer to her boyfriend, Kevin. Kevin is a nice guy, but although Gabby moved to be closer to him, and they have been dating for four years, he is not showing signs of asking her to marry him, and he gets very uptight when she mentions marriage.
Gabby is upset with her neighbor, Travis, because she thinks that he doesn’t have a serious job, and she also thinks that he is inconsiderate, playing his music too loud. On top of that, she is certain that his dog, Moby, got her dog, Molly pregnant.
One Saturday evening after Travis’s friends and their family leave, she marches over to his home, when Moby knocks her down. After she comes to, she has a complete meltdown accusing Travis of many things. Travis is unable to get a word in, so he keeps quiet, simply listening to her.
He encourages her to take Molly to see the vet. She takes his advice, but when she arrives, she discovers that Travis is a veterinarian, and not the loafer she thinks he is. To make things even worse, she also learns that Moby is not responsible for Molly’s pregnancy because he was neutered. Although the relationship between Travis and Gabby is off to a rocky start, the sparks between them are electrifying. As the sparks fly, and she can picture what her future could be like, Gabby has to make a choice, stay with Kevin, or leave him for Travis, who is far more exciting. She opts for Travis, what did you expect?
As their lives continue and she is welcomed into the family, Travis and Gabby have two daughters, whom they adore. One night, because of Travis’ recklessness, they are involved in a car accident and Gabby becomes comatose. Years before, the two wrote their wills, which stipulates that if the other is in a coma for over a certain period of time, life support should be turned off. Except for his sister, Stephanie, and the lawyer who drew up the will, no one knows about the stipulation in the will. The lawyer is no longer living in the area.
Gabby is not getting any better, as far as the doctors are concerned. Travis is now faced with the choice to turn off life support, or to ignore Gabby’s wishes. Stephanie tells him that whatever he decides, she will stand by him. Because of Travis’ love for Gabby, he cannot bring himself to turn off the life support, and the medical team is no wiser that there is a living will.
Travis moves his wife to a long-term care facility. Stephanie encourages him to return to work part-time, so that there is some normalcy in his life, which is important for his daughters. One day he gets a call that Gabby is awake, will there be long-term brain damage, or is the old Gabby back?
Conclusion: The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
I recommend The Choice by Nicholas Sparks because life is not always smooth sailing, and bad things happen to everyone.
When Travis Parker faces the choice of turning off his wife’s life support, I am reminded of two interviews I conducted where the interviewees had to turn off the life support of a child.
Nicholas Sparks Book List
Two by TwoSee MeThe RescueThe Best of MeThe GuardianThe Longest RideA Bend in the RoadTrue BelieverNights in RodantheThe WeddingThe Nicholas Sparks Holiday CollectionAt First SightThe Lucky OneThe NotebookThe Last Song
Have you read?