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The Choice Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
In his 13th book, bestselling Sparks (At First Sight, etc.) limns the far-reaching implications of several seemingly ordinary choices made by Beaufort, N.C. veterinarian Travis Parker and his next-door neighbor Gabrielle Holland, a physician's assistant and recent arrival. After an inauspicious first meeting where Gabby accuses Travis's boxer of impregnating her purebred collie, the two fall hard for each other. Already dating someone else seriously, Gabby is faced with a dilemma: whether to stick with longtime boyfriend Kevin, or get involved with Travis. The first part of the tale paints a vivid picture of her decision-making process and its effects on Travis and Gabby's lives. That sets up Part II, which takes place 11 years later when Travis faces a life and death decision following a car accident. A tender and moving love story and a quick read, Sparks's latest does not disappoint.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Holter Graham gives a polished performance with his versatile skills and vocal range as he embraces the roles of Travis Parker, local veterinarian, and Gabby Holland, physician's assistant. In Part One, Graham captures the exquisite story of their attraction, love, and marriage with a warmth and rhythm that breathes life into the characters. Ten years later in Part Two, Graham portrays Travis's torment when Gabby falls into a coma after a car accident that is his fault. As Gabby fails to recover, Graham captures Travis's conflict over a decision he must make--a decision based on a promise Gabby extracted from him before her life took its tragic turn. A compelling story. G.D.W. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/ MAY 08] --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've always enjoyed reading Nicholas Sparks' books because of the wonderful, sappy love stories he writes, not to mention his superb ability to make me cry like a baby. A lot of his stories follow similar plots with differences in characters and circumstances, of course, but nevertheless, he always crafts beautiful, heartwarming stories that keep me interested. Most of his books I've loved, others not quite as much. I enjoyed The Choice even though it wasn't one of my favorites and it was a fairly quick read for me. The story is told in two different times, in 1996 and 2007, with enough descriptions to help readers fill the gap and understand all that happened in between those years.
Gabby Holland is a physician assistant, intelligent, and new to Beaufort, North Carolina. She takes a job at the local pediatrician's office to be closer to her boyfriend who, ironically, never seems to have time for her and is always golfing. Gabby makes friends with her neighbor, Travis Parker, after she indignantly accuses his dog of impregnating her beloved Molly. Travis is the town veterinarian, alongside his father, and also enjoys nearly every outdoor activity. He has traveled the world and enjoys spending his weekends out on the boat with his close friends and their families. The first time he meets Gabby, he is enchanted with her and the two start spending a lot of time together. In the second part of the story, we are fast-forwarded to 2007 where Travis must make one of the most difficult decisions of his life, a choice that no person should have to make.
The Choice is an emotional tale of love, romance and the choices that we sometimes have to make, no matter how hard they may be. Even though this wasn't one of my favorite Nicholas Sparks books, I still enjoyed it and think it is worth reading. I am someone who prefers to read the book before I see the movie and I am definitely interested in the movie as well because I've enjoyed seeing how the books are adapted into films. If you are a Nicholas Sparks fan, go ahead and read The Choice because it's a beautiful, emotional story about true love!
I didn't feel there was good depth of the characters. And to be honest, I felt no chemistry. I have to say I am disappointed in the book, but I will watch the movie anyways.
*********** Warning – Plot Spoilers from here on *********
I pretty much read this book straight through, but I did find myself putting it down more often than I normally would because there were a lot of parts that seemed to be simply extraneous bits to fill out the novel. Quite honestly, those parts became boring; especially toward the end of the novel where we needed the story to move forward.
That said, Nicholas Sparks is a great romantic writer… one of the best I’ve read and I found myself laughing, rooting for the protagonists, and more than a few times with a tear in my eye! At first you think the title “The Choice” is going to be about Gabby choosing between Travis and Kevin, but soon enough the reader realizes that it has to be Travis because there is hardly any character buildup of Kevin and what is mentioned is warm, but not enough to make you cheer for him in any way at all.
The Prologue gives us a sense of this as well, though still leaving the reader uncertain. You wonder what exactly happened and did it have to do with Gabby’s choice. The Author does a great job of creating suspense without being too cumbersome, however in this case, it is far too drawn out… particularly in Part II.
I’m a stickler for continuity of story as well… when there are glaring mistakes in a book, it distracts from my enjoyment and there are two huge holes for me.
1. When Travis first invites Gabby out with his friends and their kids, it’s on Saturday and they spend the day parasailing on the boat, and then he and Gabby end up having a grilled shrimp dinner alone where he invites her on a motorcycle ride the next day (Sunday). After the ride which would be at minimum late afternoon considering all that happened, including lunch etc., he asks Gabby out to dinner for the following evening, which would be Monday. She counters by offering to cook dinner for him at her house which he accepts. Then...all of a sudden it’s Sunday again… this is the type of thing that gets in my head in a novel and brings me out of the story because I’m stuck on the glaring fact that the weekend all of a sudden has three days, two of which are “Sunday.”
2. This is minor, but still any author worth reading who wants a reader immersed in the story does adequate research on what they write about. In the novel, Travis is reminiscing about a vacation he and Gabby took to Cancun and he mentions they visited “Aztec” ruins. Most anyone who knows anything about Cancun and the Mayan Peninsula, knows it’s just that… “Mayan” ruins. The Aztec Empire was located to the north in what is now Central Mexico and Mexico City.
Finally, an Epilogue is a final comment or conclusion to a book and in this case the epilogue should have been the final chapter. It doesn’t read like an epilogue at all in my mind… it’s a continuation of the story… not a comment or final conclusion. I’m not a writer nor a literary critic, but the obvious point in calling it that was to continue the suspense and buildup of the actual choice which was, as we find out, centered around Travis’ decision to continue Gabby’s life support instead of honoring her living will. This again is very predictable though… even if Gabby had ended up dying, it would not have been due to this choice as the book never really lead us to believe Travis would make that decision…there was only one choice for him and if Gabby ended up dying, it would not be because Travis chose to end her life support... this sort of took a lot of the intensity out of the book for me and lessened the final impact of her coming out of the coma. However... the title is "The Choice" so there it is!!
With all this said…. the one thing I enjoyed more than anything about this book was the way the author described the love between Travis and Gabby with such sweetness and emotion. Anyone who has ever been in love can relate! Nicholas Sparks is the master of putting that feeling into words with such a delicacy and intimacy that it stirs the heart like not many writers do… at least for me! The other part of the book I really enjoyed was the “push-pull” dialog between Travis and Gabby… it was very well written, undeniably witty, and you could see them falling in love bit by bit – or possibly realizing bit by bit how deeply affected or already in love they were…. And that is what makes this book definitely worth reading!!!