mp’s rating: 4/5

I believe not one girl in her right life will not know about The Notebook, which novel has been made into a major motion picture (starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams). People may have not read the book, but they must have watched the movie. I am 99.9% sure of this statement.

Yet switching my occupation to a reader rather than a watcher (sadly, there is no TV in my room in Jakarta), I decided to browse through my old bookshelf and read some of the novels that I bought years earlier, yet never had the time (or will) to read them. So here I am, sitting down in front of my laptop with the novel on my lap, wondering, daydreaming, of one of the most romantic stories I have ever read.

At thirty-one, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At twenty-nine, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle…

I have always loved fairy tales, that’s for sure. The poor girl, the prince charming on his white horse, and then they live happily ever after. But I have always loved a classic tale of love too.

Isn’t this the perfect love story that may actually happen in reality? Well, maybe Cinderella does exist, but from becoming a maid to a princess married to a prince charming has a chance of 1%. But this story is familiar, isn’t it? Two people who love each other, but they are separated because of the difference in their social status. The guy is poor; he comes from a small countryside. The girl is wealthy, smart, and her parents want the ‘best’ for the girl – for her to marry someone with the same social status as them, so that she can continue living in the same way as their parents.

14 years they are separated, and one day they have the chance to meet again. She chose him – the guy who’s just rich of love, over the wealthy lawyer.

There are these moments in our lives where we dream of our ‘the one’, who is not necessarily wealthy, smart, or a prince. But we want someone who will fight for us, who will love us till the day we die, and that will be enough for us. But reality speaks differently, for status and money dominate marriages.

The Notebook is a beautiful story which is wrapped in a very good combination of flashbacks, letters, poems, and love. Nicholas Sparks is a genius, for he knows what women want to hear – he created Noah, a guy so perfect, too perfect, I might say, for us to dream that one day we’ll find our own Noah.

Quotes from the novel:

“You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.”

“I know there could never have been another. I knew it then and I know it now.”

“You are the answer to every prayer I’ve offered. You are a song, a dream, a whisper … and I don’t know how I could have lived without you for as long as I have.”

“In times of grief and sorrow I will hold you and rock you, and take your grief and make it my own. When you cry, I cry, and when you hurt, I hurt. And together we will try to hold back the floods of tears and despair and make it through the potholed streets of life.”

“I am nothing special of this I am sure. I am just a common man with common thoughts. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, that has always been enough.”

“I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I’ve ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours.”

“She was my dream. She made me who I am, and holding her in my arms was more natural to me than my own heartbeat. I think about her all the time. Even now, when I’m sitting here, I think about her. There could never have been another.”

A letter to Allie, when they were forced to separate for the first time, and definitely, my favourite.

“The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we’ve lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we’ve found each other. And maybe each time, we’ve been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.

When I look at you, I see your beauty and grace and know they have grown stronger with every life you have lived. And I know I have spent every life before this one searching for you. Not someone like you, but you, for your soul and mine must always come together. And then, for a reason neither of us understands, we’ve been forced to say good-bye.

I would love to tell you that everything will work out for us, and I promise to do all that I can to make sure it does. But if we never meet again and this is truly good-bye, I know we will see each other again in another life. We will find each other again, and maybe the stars will have changed, and we will not only love each other in that time, but for all the times we have had before.”