“Sometimes you have to be a part from people you love, but that doesn’t make you love them any less. Sometimes you love them more.” – Nicholas Sparks
Okay, you love watching A Walk to Remember, Message in a Bottle, or The Notebook. Then you love reading books, and then, you are a die-hard romantic! Why not then read a romance novel by Nicholas Sparks?! 🙂
The Last Song is one such book that keeps you awake all night and make you smile, laugh, think, feel, and weep.
A story of seventeen years old girl Ronnie Miller, who is a daughter to divorced parents, The Last Song, is a melodious romance. It is a romance not between the two teens, but between a daughter and a father.
For all the right reasons including the bitter divorce between her parents Ronnie resents her father, Steve, since past three years. Three years later she and her sweet little brother Jonah are asked by their mother to spend summers with their father at Wilmington, North Carolina. Ronnie dislikes the idea. She hates her father…doesn’t speak to him…not even play the piano or compose songs, which she used to do with the most loved man during her childhood.
However, forced by her consistently inquisitive (at least, Ronnie believes her to be like this) mother, Kim, both the siblings reach the beach town. The rebellious Ronnie and her brother, Jonah, while moving ahead through summers, spending time with Steve, and meeting the beach teens, transforms into mature, responsible, and affectionate children.
Life at the small town in contrast to life at the New York is content and free from suspicions. Even though there is wrong crowd of Blaze, Marcus, Lance, and Teddy, who put fire juggling performances at carnivals, the place has so much love to offer. Steve, and Will, the rich Blakelee and a volunteer at aquarium, both love Ronnie more than she loves herself. Both, in their own ways, treat Ronnie like a fairytale princess who deserves more happiness than Cinderella. Even Jonah, despite being a jousting brother, loves Ronnie…he even lends the money he has been saving for long to her sister when she is in dire need of buying a dress for Will’s sister’s wedding.
The novel is a perfect blend of disgust, exuberance, friendship, love, family, and forfeiture…life. There are leaves when you enjoy reading about Ronnie who shares some annoying and some tender moments with Steve, some romantic moments with Will, some invigorating moments with Jonah, and some cordial moments with Blaze.
The Last Song is story of a girl who starts her summers with a feeling of antipathy, for she feels hoodwinked by her parents, but ends her holidays with a new insight into life’s affair. It is a journey where everything is tentative; an affair which is not foreseen. Ronnie’s relationship with each person in her life is a different story. She hates Steve for abandoning her when she needed him the most, but then somewhere deep down she detests herself for not loving her father anymore. She fears falling in love with Will initially…pretends to be an impetuous girl from New York City, who loves wearing black nail paint and being in company of crooks, but then worries about the Loggerhead Sea Turtle nest. She gets maddened when Jonah asks her riotous child-like questions, but love taking him out often too.
During the entire tenure, you keep occupied with the book thinking what comes next. I agree the book becomes a bit predictable as it moves ahead, but the third person narrative style from Nicholas makes the book a quick yet interesting read. The book proves that romance is not confined to a man and a woman but could be between two individuals too…romance could ensue between a father and a daughter when she plays the last song for him, or when he listens to her stories and tells her to forgive herself first.
Out of all the original characters in the book I personally loved Jonah. He, despite being ten year old only, knows how to entertain readers with his affection towards his lonely father and instant wit for Ronnie.
The Last Song has its fascinating twists and turns that might not surprise you as much as those should. But then the book does lead you towards an end where you believe that trusting others and forgiving yourself are two important deeds that make the life worthy. It does invoke emotions in its reader, in you, which makes it a good, if not an essential, read.