The Longest Ride
By Nicholas Sparks
(Grand Central Publishing, Hardcover, 9781455520657, 416pp.)
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
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In the tradition of his beloved first novel, The Notebook, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the remarkable story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways. Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
With over 85 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved storytellers. His novels include eleven #1 New York Times bestsellers, and all his books, including Three Weeks with My Brother, the memoir he wrote with his brother, Micah, have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than fifty languages. Eight of Nicholas Sparks's novels-Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle-were also adapted into major motion pictures. In 2011, he founded the Nicholas Sparks Foundation to inspire and transform students' lives though education, curriculum development, and life-changing international experiences. To learn more, go to www.NicholasSparksFoundation.org. The author lives in North Carolina with his wife and family. You can visit him at www.NicholasSparks.com.