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A Bend in the Road Hardcover – September 18, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sweet, accessible, uplifting and predictable, the latest love story from Sparks (The Notebook) leaves the reader with just one burning question: Why is this consummate beach book being published in the fall? The nearly thwarted but eventually triumphant romance of deputy sheriff Miles Ryan and second-grade teacher Sarah Andrews goes down as easily as marshmallow fluff and offers about as much real nourishment. Miles's high school sweetheart, Missy, was killed in an unsolved hit and run accident, leaving him to raise their son, Jonah, in New Bern, N.C. Sarah's politically ambitious husband, Michael, dumped her when her ovaries proved inactive, and she fled to New Bern to teach, and love, other people's kids. Miles and Sarah meet at a parent-teacher conference, and the sparks fly. But there's a fly in the ointment as well; an italicized voice threaded among the happy chapters alerts us that Missy's death was caused by someone whose identity, if revealed, could destroy Miles and Sarah's newfound joy. In Sparks's heaven, clouds exist to make silver linings look the brighter. As tough truth shadows their landscape, Miles and Sarah find depths within themselves, and their rekindled light illumines all. New Bern becomes a city of the reborn. Charlie Curtis, Miles's stickler boss, learns to bend; Missy's aimless killer morphs into a healer; and Jonah once again knows a mother's love. The opposite of edgy, with simple sentences and soft-pedaled sex, Sparks's plain vanilla morality will doubtless sell like ice cream on a steamy day. (Sept.)Forecast: Major television and print advertising and an 18-city author tour will broadcast Sparks's latest from the rooftops; expect instant bestsellerdom.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A man loses his wife, lives in a haze, and then finds healing new love until the secrets start popping. nonfiction
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (September 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446527785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446527781
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (958 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #407,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

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.

Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 by Warner Books. He followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010) and The Best of Me (2011), as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His seventeenth novel, The Longest Ride, was published on September 17, 2013.

Safe Haven, Sparks's eighth film adaptation and on which he served as a Producer, opened February 14, 2013, taking top box office honors for Valentine's Day. The ninth film adaptation of one of his novels, The Best of Me, will open in October and the tenth, The Longest Ride, will open next spring. Along with The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels have a cumulative worldwide gross of over three-quarters of a billion dollars.

In 2012, Sparks and his publishing agent and creative partner Theresa Park, launched Nicholas Sparks Productions, with Park as President of Production. A film and television production company, they inked a two-year, first-look, non-writing, Executive Producer deal at Warner Horizon. Just four months later, Nicholas Sparks Productions announced the first three television series to be developed under that agreement, in collaboration with three different networks: TNT, ABC Family and Lifetime. NSP recently announced the acquisition of Gayle Sayers's life and memoir rights for a feature film to be co-produced with Michael Costigan. Nicholas Sparks Productions, in association with Senator Films, anticipate moving forward with a local language feature film for the German speaking audience in the near term.

Deliverance Creek, which marks Sparks's television producing debut, will premiere as a special two-hour movie on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 on Lifetime. With an original script written by Melissa Carter, directed by Jon Amiel, Deliverance Creek stars Lauren Ambrose. From Nicholas Sparks Productions and Warner Horizon, Melissa Carter, Nicholas Sparks, Theresa Park and Jon Amiel are Executive Producers on the telefilm.

Sparks lives in North Carolina with his family. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. Along with his wife, he founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4 x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands.

In 2011, Nicholas and his wife launched the Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to improving cultural and international understanding through global education experiences for students of all ages. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of Nicholas and Catherine Sparks, more than $10 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because Nicholas and Catherine Sparks cover all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

Customer Reviews

It had suspense and was a great love story.
Chevon Reiche
With jam packed scenes and twists and turns this book leaves readers at the edge of their seat dying to turn the page.
The book was a little predictable, and a little forgettable.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on October 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If you love a love story, cry over broken hearts, and savor the coziness of small-town life, this book is tailor-made for you. I absolutely loved the story of Miles Ryan and his young son Jonah. Their wife and mother, Missy, is struck down by a hit-and-run driver, sending waves of loneliness through the lives of Miles and Jonah. Miles, as deputy sheriff of his small North Carolina town, feels doubly saddened by his failure to find his wife's killer and bring him to justice.
When Jonah has trouble at school, Sarah, Jonah's teacher, enters Miles' life and he begins to feel the stirrings of romance once again. Unfortunately, Sarah harbors a secret that destroyed her first marriage, and later discovers an amazing coincidence that shatters her new-found happiness with Miles and Jonah.
Written with passion and simplicity, this wonderful book also has tones of Mary Higgins Clark, as readers are able to spend several chapters in the mind of the as-yet-unknown driver of the car who killed Missy. The mystery of unveiling the hit-and-run driver coupled with the romance of Sarah and Miles makes this a comforting, curl-up-and-read pleasure for fall.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Denise Bentley on December 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
That is what Miles Ryan is up against after the death of his wife Missy by an unknown hit and run driver. Sparks has introduced the driver to us via a series of “italicized” chapters sporadically interspersed within the story as a whole. I enjoyed this aspect of the book and was always pleased to see another chapter by this individual who would reveal a little bit more about the person who perpetrated the crime.
Jonah Ryan is a little boy who has lost his mom and been allowed to slip back in his school work out of pity for his loss. Sarah, his new teacher makes friends with the Ryan family when she offers to work with him after school. Sarah and Miles make fast and easy friends, and Miles starts to have feelings that he thought would be long dead after losing Missy. It is when life is back on track for the first time in two years that his world is blown apart, and the madness begins.
This is an excellent book and I would rate it 4.5. Sparks’ books are warm and touching but the edge of madness is done well in this particular book. Something to watch for is the up and coming movie “A Walk to Remember” based on another Nicholas Sparks novel that just grabbed me by the heart. (...)
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Sandra D. Peters on September 4, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is, without question, the most beautifully written book from Sparks since "Message in a Bottle." It is a story of loss and new-found love. Miles is still grieving the loss of his wife in a hit-and-run accident, and struggling with the day-to-day challenges of raising a son on his own. When Sarah Andrews enters his life, Miles is filled with a variety of mixed emotions from guilt and a sense of betrayal to his dead wife, to the earthy qualities of love and passion for an attractive, alluring woman. Sarah, too, is dealing with her own demons of the past. Just as fate has blessed these two people with the chance to find happiness, solace and love together, and put the past to rest, their love and relationship are both tested to the limit.
This is a book fans of Sparks will not want to miss. Also highly recommended by another Nicholas - Nicholas Evans, is "Smoke Jumper." Both are excellent books, destined to become best sellers and deserving of five-star ratings.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on June 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A Bend in the Road - Nicholas Sparks
Here's another love story written by the master of romance books, Nicholas Sparks. A Bend in the Road is the story of Miles and his son Jonah. Missy was the love of Miles' life; they had a storybook love that was not destined to end on a happy note. Missy dies early on in their marriage, leaving Miles to care for their young son Jonah. The cause of death was a hit and run accident, but despite Miles' efforts to find the "murderer", there are no answers. Miles works as the local deputy sheriff in a small town in North Carolina (where everyone seems to know everyone else) and he uses his powers to track down the person that drove the car that killed Missy.
Then in comes Sarah. She's a divorced woman from the big city, looking for a new life in a small town. She ends up as Jonah's teacher in school, and through Jonah she meets Miles. It takes a while, but Miles soon falls in love with Sarah and they begin a courtship. Miles hasn't been happier, not since he lost Missy, but there is always that nagging mystery in the back of his mind: who killed her? Was she murdered? Or was it an accident?
I enjoyed reading this book, but I have to admit it was not my favorite Nicholas Sparks romance. MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE is by far his best work. A BEND IN THE ROAD didn't seem to flow as easily as some of his other novels, and I guess I felt that the plot was a bit forced. Still, Sparks knows how to write a good romance and I did want to find out how Missy really died. It was a fast read, but if you are a first time reader of Nicholas Sparks, I suggest you try MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE or A WALK TO REMEMER.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alda on May 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A Bend In The Road, by Nicholas Sparks is a remarkable book that will bring tears to your eyes. In the novel, Sparks weaves together two stories: the story of Miles Ryan's life after the death of his wife, and the story of the murderer of Missy Ryan (Miles Ryan's wife).
Missy Ryan was a blessed mother and wife. The kind that every child would dream to have. However, one night destiny was not with her, and she was killed while jogging at dusk. Having found out about the horrific death of his wife, Miles Ryan takes it upon himself to find out what happened to his wife on that terrible night.
Jonah, the son of Missy and Miles, nonetheless does not take his mother's death lightly. The affect of the death becomes so great, that Jonah begins to do poorly in school. Just when Miles thought life could not get better for him or his son, the charming teacher Sarah Andrews enters and offers to help Jonah with his academics. Sarah and Miles soon fall deeply in love yet their future together may be tattered by a secret tie from their past. Will their love for each other remain strong or will truth keep them apart...
In A Bend In The Road, Nicholas Sparks has the cryptic ability to combine both mystery and romance and roll them into a novel that is a true page-turner. If you have ever read one of Sparks' novels, this one will surpass your expectations. If you are like me, who has never read his books, pick this one up because you will not put it down until the end.
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