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Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas Hardcover – July 16, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

Talk about a change of pace! Renowned suspense writer and Edgar Award winner James Patterson, author of such bestsellers-turned-blockbuster-movies as Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls, exposes his sensitive side in his new novel, Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas. Katie Wilkinson's boyfriend Matt dumps her; not a total cad, he leaves her a gift, a diary kept by Suzanne, his first wife, for their son Nicholas. Though it's not exactly the diamond ring Katie was hoping for, she's unable to make herself destroy the diary--against her better judgment, Katie begins to read.

Drawn against her will into the other woman's world, Katie learns of physician Suzanne's heart attack at age 35 and her decision to slow down, accomplished by a move to Martha's Vineyard and a new job as a simple country doctor. When love comes knocking, in the form of housepainter-cum-poet Matt Harrison, Suzanne is ready to listen to her newly repaired heart. Though painful for Katie, she begins to know and like Suzanne and her infant son Nicholas. Suzanne's devotion to Matt and their son shines through, as well as her plainspoken wisdom. While the journal helps Katie understand Matt, whether they can write a future together remains in question. --Alison Trinkle

From Publishers Weekly

Say what? A women's weepy from the megaselling author of the hard-boiled Alex Cross mysteries? Yes, and it's not the stretch some might imagine. Patterson has demonstrated his flair for female POV and characters in the stand-alone When the Wind Blows and in his current bestseller, 1st to Die and Cross himself has his gooey side. So how good is the novel? Good enough to lightly pluck the heartstrings and to impress with its craft and its calculation. As usual, Patterson mixes first- and third-person narration. Katie Wilkinson is a Manhattan book editor who's been inexplicably left by her lover and star author, a Martha's Vineyard poet named Matt. After he splits, Matt mails Katie the diary kept by his wife, Suzanne, for their young son. Katie reads it (the novel's extensive first-person passages) and reacts to it (briefer third-person interludes). The diary details how physician Suzanne, recovering from a heart attack at age 35, forsakes the rat race, moves to Martha's Vineyard and finds bliss with Matt, a housepainter who reads Moby-Dick and writes strong poems, and with their newborn son, Nicholas. The novel sloshes with sentiment (some of it quite icky) and simple spiritual truths, while acknowledging the reality of pain and loss: rose bushes galore, with thorns. Patterson sustains suspense through clever plotting and by Katie's wondering about the fate of Suzanne and Nicholas; what's finally revealed pushes her, and the novel, to a bittersweet conclusion. Patterson is one smart author (here, he dazzles with his use of refrains, stories-within-stories and romance novel tropes); this jump into another genre won't hurt his reputation as a master of popular lit. (July)Forecast: A lovely dust jacket featuring a title in violet script trumpets this as a love story. Will Patterson's fans buy it? Some mostly women yes. And a 12-city author tour and major print and TV publicity will draw in enough new fans, most of them also women, to float the title onto bestseller lists though not at Alex Cross numbers.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (July 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316969443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316969444
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and, Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Sandra D. Peters on July 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
James Patterson and his Alex Cross novels have captured the attention of readers around the world. His has written some terrific psychological thrillers and a couple of less acclaimed novels, such as "When the Bough Breaks" which might have been best left in the closet. However, James Patterson's fans will not be the least disappointed in his latest masterpiece. It could not be further from the action packed, Alex Cross, crime novels, but it is every bit as worthy of praise and acclaim.
Katie Wilkinson, a book editor, has been left by her boyfriend, Matt. Matt, however, gives Katie a diary written by his first wife, Suzanne, for his son Nicholas. As Katie reads through the diary, she is not only compassionately drawn to Suzanne but develops a better understanding of Matt. The story that evolves will capture your heart and will long be remembered after the final page has been read. You will laugh and you will cry. The book is on the same par as "The Bridges of Madison County" and "Message in a Bottle." The readers will be pleasantly surprised at the new creative ability of Patterson in this sure to be best seller. Do not miss this book, it is packed with emotion and the reader is immediately drawn to the strong characters. This is once again, James Patterson at his finest - worthy of a whole universe of stars!
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Denise Bentley on September 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Patterson has taken a huge leap in genres, and by the reviews I see, his readers are running hot and cold. I personally loved this book and I know for a fact that love like this does exist, if only it could happen to everyone at least once in a lifetime.
The style of the book is not only as a diary, but it is laced with short entries about the life of Katie who has been given the diary to read. The majority of the story takes place on Martha's Vineyard, a small island off the coast of Massachusetts. It is the story of a perfect love, a perfect family and everything one could only hope for in life. Patterson is acutely sensitive in his ability to write as a female character telling her story.
Without ruining it for the reader I will say that the book is an emotional roller coaster, but a ride I wouldn't have missed for anything. Right from the beginning we are left to wonder why Katie is reading Suzanne's diary and we know that there is much more to this story. Thank you Mr. Patterson for a wonderful book and a loving piece of humanity. Kelsana 9/8/01
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52 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on July 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
When I met James Patterson at a recent book signing for this book, he told us that when he was in his early 30's he fell in love with a girl named Jane. One day they were in the post office and she just keeled over. It turned out she had a brain tumor and lived only two more years, but instead of being sad they said each day how lucky they were to see the sun rise, to share a walk on the beach, etc. After Jane's death, he knew that he would one day write a book for all those who have loved and lost and learned to love again. This book is not only an outstanding tribute to his love for Jane, but one of the most engrossing page-turners I have come across. I started it yesterday afternoon and literally could not stop until I finished. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, I closed the book and cried uncontrollably. I knew it was going to be sad, but a most unexpected shocker near the end left me stunned.
Everyone who reads this book will come away with not only a great story, but a great piece of advice about five balls that we must all balance in life.
The story of Matt, his wife Suzanne, his son Nicholas, and the diary he leaves for Katie to read will literally break your heart. Patterson writes with a genuine understanding of what love is and how it survives tragedy. Just reading it will hopefully make each of us appreciate the gift each day is. Happy Reading!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Angela M. Hooper on November 5, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Katie Wilkinson is left by her boyfriend, Matt. Katie cannot figure out why he left. She thought they were happy together. However, Matt gives Katie a diary that was written by his first wife, belonging to his son, Nicholas.

As Katie turns the pages of this diary, she soon becomes involved with Suzanne's emotions and becomes seemingly more aware of Matt's personality. This book will have you laughing and crying, and as you learn the meaning behind this book, it will be one that you will not ever forget. This book has love and passion, and will make any mother cry. It is a true romance.
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44 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Karyn on July 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book touched me in so many ways. It was sensitive and thought provoking. When I reached the chapter called "Matthew", my heart sunk because I knew at that point what had probably taken place. I was right, but I wasn't shocked or thrown until I began to read that chapter. I have never been so moved by a book. I was absolutely sobbing. Finishing the book was no easy task considering the sobbing lasted long after I was done. I spent the rest of the day, (I read the book in one day, how could I put it down?) thinking of the characters and of James Patterson. Read the jacket from the book, I can't get Mr. Patterson out of my mind. Thank you, Thank you!!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written book. As readers we are looking over the shoulder of Katie as she reads Suzanne's Diary which was written for her infant son, Nicholas. Suzanne writes about her love for Nicholas' father and her love for her son. She writes about her dreams and her fears. Katie is reading the diary looking for answers. The question is will the answers be the ones that she is hoping for?
This is an amazing book full of old fashioned romance. Once you start reading you won't want to put it down and it is a great book to sit down and read all in one sitting. Don't forget to have the tissues handy. If you read The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks and enjoyed it than this is another love story you'll want to dive right into.
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