Customer Reviews: A Bend in the Road
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on October 6, 2013
If someone withheld from you the name of the author, you'd have it nailed in 2 chapters unless you've never read Nicholas Sparks. It's unusual to review a book when you still have about a third left to read, but the popularity of this one so escapes me, it was hard to resist. Lots of 5-stars, but maybe they are all diehard Sparks fans, period. Much slower moving than any I've read- and predictable. It's hard to believe a sheriff would not notice someone regularly spying on him through his windows or sitting outside his son's school in his car. Especially one who believes his wife was murdered. I will recant and repent if the rest of this book gets better. But that's only if I don't move on to another one first....
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on January 30, 2013
Didn't really care for this book. I wanted to but it just wasn't a page turner in my opinion. I liked the relationship between Miles, Jonah and Sarah but 1/2 way through the story line kinda fell through and moved on to other things. I kept on reading and waiting for it to get better but it just never did. Every night as I read on my kindle in bed I would say to my husband "I am ready for this to start getting good!" My 2 fav Nicholas Sparks books = Safe Haven (LOVED it) and A Walk to Remember (very sweet).
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on September 27, 2004
Brief summary: Miles Ryan is a deputy sheriff in a small North Carolina town. Two years earlier his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident, and now he's raising their seven-year-old son alone. Sarah Andrews is the new teacher in town. She moved to town after a divorce, which occurred as a result of her infertility. Miles and Sarah fall in love, but problems arise when new information is found regarding the hit-and-run driver.

I *wanted* to like this book, but I had a difficult time doing that. I thought the characters were one-dimensional and had very little depth. The mystery portion of the book was easily solved (the backcover alone gave a huge clue). And I thought the ending was very unsatisfying. I've read reviews that have mentioned the book as being one about `forgiveness' and apparently I just totally missed that, because I didn't see any forgiveness. Just 16 pages prior to the end of the book Miles says, "You killed my wife. I'll never forgive you, and I'll never forget." And that attitude didn't change in the last 16 pages. In the epilogue, which occurred approximately ten years later, I got the impression that Miles is still hanging on to his anger. He starts out an angry man and ends up an angry man--there was no character growth at all. His anger is, to some extent, justified, but in my opinion, he's entirely too angry. Yes, there was a tragic accident. It had a huge affect on many lives. It's hard to let go of the people that you love. The `driver' should have reacted to the situation differently. But the bottom line is that it was in fact an *unavoidable accident*. And Miles seems totally unable to accept that fact. I would have liked to seen a different ending for Miles. The book was a disappointment for me, but clearly, I'm in the minority in that opinion :)
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on January 17, 2014
* Spoiler Alert* : The story, like other Sparks' novels is endearing and heartwarming especially when there is a child involved. I like it and recommend it for everyone to read. I have two concerns, however, that considering her recent heartbreaking divorce Sarah seems to be attracted to Miles much too early after their 1st meeting, even before Miles himself is sure of his feelings for her. The second more serious concern is the abrupt ending. Their relationship becomes strained when they discover who has "killed" Mile's wife. Though he says he loves Sarah Miles needs time away to think while Sarah thinks that could well be the end of their relationship. By this time there are only about 2 pages left in the book, most of it describing another character. Then suddenly on the last half page Sarah, on coming home, sees signals on her window sill that tells Miles has decided to be back with her. End of story. I was stunned.
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on October 18, 2015
3.75 Stars

October Book Club Book Review

I have mixed emotions about this book, I liked it but I didn't love it. Since reading "Dear John" I have stayed away from Nicholas Sparks books. I enjoy watching the movies but the books just aren't for me. However, I didn't have a choice with this one, since it was a book club read. I'm glad I read it though it was a quick and easy read. It won't be at the top of my recommendation list but as a Nicholas Sparks book goes I would chose this one over others.

One thing I found interesting was the writing style. Sparks starts the novel off with the narrator recalling how events of his life intertwine with those of the hero and heroine. By doing this the reader is able to feel sympathy for the narrator while he retells the story of how Miles and Sarah learn to love again after tragic events uproot both of their lives.

Miles Ryan is a small town county sheriff with a 7 year old son, Jonah. Miles and Jonah's lives were turned upside down 2 years prior when tragedy strikes and Miles and Jonah bury a wife and mother. Miles is left with no answers and no one to charge for the crime that was committed. After years of obsession he finds himself looking ahead and wanting to rebuild a life. One with love, and happiness, one with a wife.

Sarah Andrews has just moved to New Bern after leaving her hometown of Baltimore to be closer to her parents after a nasty divorce. She isn't looking for love considering she had been burned deeply by her ex-husband. But when a student in her class is in need of extra help she meets Deputy Ryan and sparks fly.

Neither one of them expected for their feelings to come so fast and so hard, and when a secret is revealed that could rip apart the very love story they created, forgiveness and understanding may be their only hope.
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on September 29, 2001
Two years ago in New Bern, North Carolina Deputy Sheriff Miles Ryan learns how quickly a joyful life can turn to ashes when a still unknown hit and run driver kills his beloved wife, Missy. Miles feels he died that day too and survives through their young son Jonah. Neither Ryan male has come to grips with their loss as both still mourn Missy's death.

All Sarah Andrews wanted from life was the same kind of love her parents have for one another and always showered on her. She thought Michael was her life mate, but when they learned her eggs could not produce a child, he divorced her. She left Baltimore to start anew in New Bern.

Sarah, Jonah's elementary school teacher, is sympathetic towards the young child's grief; still she is concerned with his behavior and schoolwork. At a parents-teacher conference, Miles and Sarah meet and feel a shocking attraction. As they begin to fall in love, both wonder if a relationship is the right thing for them and for Jonah. Then there is the "Italicized" individual who deliberately killed Missy and will murder again to remain anonymous.

Very few writers of romantic suspense can send off more sparks and sugar in the same mix than Nicholas Sparks. The story line is sweet as two walking wounded heal through the magic of love, which in a Mary Poppins kind of way softens everyone else except for the murderer. The lead couple is a warm, engaging duo struggling with ghosts, love, and a killer, which make for a fine cotton candy of a tale.

Harriet Klausner
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on April 6, 2015
I HATED this book. The main character, Miles, was just unbelievable with his lack of professionalism (AND getting away with it) blatant neglect for his son toward the end, and the mistreatment of Sarah. I really found myself rooting against him in every case and wishing they would press charges. And don't even get me started on Sarah! She seemed strong until Miles started acting up then she just became spineless with no self-respect. I can't believe she took him back after all that. I kept thinking that Sparks was going somewhere with it, that he was creating a character so despicable on purpose. I found myself thinking "if this is his purpose, to make me hate the character, then wow he's doing a good job. I just hope the story is going somewhere"

But it didn't. It just sucked. I want my time and money back.

Will definitely be going out of my way to use it to wipe up a spill.
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on April 28, 2016
I really enjoy Nicholas Spark's novels and this one was no exception. I must say however, two of the characters in this story seemed a bit unrealistic. One was Miles, the love interest Sheriff. I felt he was oddly two dimensional for a law enforcement professional. The other was his son Jonah, who, given this set of circumstances, likely would have had more issues going on than just becoming a docile, slow learner. I think these two characters could have been better developed. Otherwise, it was a great, fun read as always!
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on February 5, 2014
I usually like Nicholas Sparks, but this book was really hard to stomach.

First of all, there were no characters that I really liked. Miles was almost impossible for me to feel empathy for; despite his terrible loss. I sincerely hope that the law enforcement in my area do not run on the same procedures as Miles. He seemed to have a singular focus and used his power as deputy sheriff to meet that purpose. If he is unable to objectively do his job, he needs to ask other people to cover for him. Instead, Miles just follows whims and treats citizens however he wants, all under the assumption that his "hunches" and "feelings" justified treated others however he wants.

As for Sarah, not sure what to say about her. Sure, it is sad that her ex-husband initiated a divorce based on her fertility issues. But did she suggest counseling? Did she suggest meeting with a reproductive specialist so they can discuss this? Nope. She just played the victim until Miles came along.

I usually like Nicholas Sparks because I feel like I can genuinely enjoy the characters, but in this book, these two main characters did absolutely nothing for me. I didn't really care what happened to both of them.
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on February 22, 2013
Shallow, boring and very predictable. It seems Nicholas Sparks is unable to write with any substance, after The Notebook, his books all seem the same, hoaky themes with no depth of character or literary interest.
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