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Nights in Rodanthe Paperback – July 1, 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 643 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sparks (A Bend in the Road, etc.) logs more miles on the winding high road of romance with the story of two middle-aged people who meet by chance in the small North Carolina coastal town of Rodanthe. The impassioned but doomed romance seems to owe much to Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County. Once again, a housewife who has focused on everyone but herself indulges in a brief, intense, secret affair with a stranger who changes her life forever. As the story begins, Adrienne Willis is 60, the divorced mother of three grown children. To help her troubled daughter cope with the untimely recent death of her husband, Adrienne tells her the tale of her love affair, which took place 15 years before. At the time, Adrienne was an uptight matron whose ex-husband had just left her for a younger woman. This rejection colors her entire life, and Sparks realistically portrays a vulnerable and isolated woman who throws herself into raising her children to escape her despair. Paul Flanner, her paramour, is a surgeon and an obsessive workaholic with no genuine connection to his wife or son, whose world completely falls apart when one of his patients inexplicably dies. Sparks builds a taut, plausible relationship between his protagonists, but even fans may be irked by the obviousness of their story and the inevitability of their fate.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Sparks, popular author of several romantically themed best-sellers, including Message in a Bottle (1998), is back at it with his latest mix of love story and pathos. He doesn't disappoint, whipping up plenty of melodrama in the story of two shattered people, both badly scarred by past experiences, who find each other late in life and realize they are soul mates. Adrienne Willis is a 45-year-old mother of three whose husband recently abandoned her for a younger woman. When she visits the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina, seeking a bit of respite from her problems, she meets Paul Flanner, a 54-year-old doctor who has sold his thriving medical practice and come to Rodanthe to escape his own tortured past. Despite their short courtship, the two find themselves falling madly and passionately in love and vow to spend their lives together. Unfortunately, Paul needs to make amends with the son he has long neglected and so embarks on an ill-fated trip, which leads to heartbreak. Sparks has a very solid fan base, and they will be clamoring for his latest. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; 1st Thus. edition (July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446691798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446691796
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (643 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,240,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Tucker Andersen VINE VOICE on October 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
At age sixty, Adrienne Willis is faced with the fact that her daughter Amanda has been unable to regain her emotional equilibrium after her husband died of cancer. Adrienne becomes increasingly worried about the impact on Amanda's two young sons. Amanda rejects her mother's attempts to lend support, since she believes that her divorced mother does not "know what it is like to live through something like " the death of a loved one. Adrienne decides that Amanda needs to learn about a part of her mother's life that has been kept secret from her family, and as she reviews the items she has saved from her NIGHTS IN RODANTHE and as she rereads the letter from Paul (Flanner), by the end of the first chapter not only has the complete plot been revealed but we guess the conclusion in a general way.
Thus, the attraction of this story is its simplicity and spareness as the author gives us enough details to fulfill our curiosity but makes no attempt to embellish it beyond the necessary minimum. In a flashback to fifteen years ago, Adrienne agees to watch a coastal inn for a friend who has to attend a wedding. Because it is past the tourist season and a hurricane is forecast, Paul Flanner (a very successful surgeon who has just sold his practice to go to Ecuador to be with his son) is the only guest. They are both attempting to recover from failed marriages, and their few brief nights together become a life changing experience for each of them. This is the eternal story of our search to instill meaning into our lives, and the question of what constitutes real love.
I have read none of Nicholas Sparks' other books or THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, but did see the movie MEASSAGE IN A BOTTLE.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Nicholas Sparks latest creation "Nights in Rodanthe". Let me tell you...run do not walk to the store to purchase this one. I have read every single one of Sparks novels thus far. He writes like no other. His imagery is fantastic....as you are reading it is like a movie unfolding before your eyes. I will not outline the story for you here because I think that ruins it for the reader. Expect to cry (as usual). But expect to learn something and also to reflect on your own life as well. I think that is what I love most about Sparks is that everything is "real". You can relate by having experienced similar things or by knowing someone who has. I just wish he could write faster because as soon as one of his novels is released, I read it the same day...and then am stuck waiting, craving for the next one. I also highly recommend Message in a Bottle and The Rescue.
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Format: Hardcover
When I wrote my review of A Bend in the Road for Amazon, the subject line said, "Hooray - finally a Nicholas Sparks book I loved." I wish I could say the same about Sparks's newest book, Nights in Rodanthe. Unfortunately, I felt about this book the same way I felt about Sparks's other books, The Notebook, Message in a Bottle and A Walk to Remember. The plots, for the most part have been done before and better in addition to which the characters never grew for me and in the end I didn't care much about them either. The book, which I finished in a couple of hours, includes some standard Spark's literary devices which include the use of a flashback to tell the story and a bit of mystery as to how the book would end. And while the book had some glimmering moments, there just weren't enough for me to think much about once I closed the book.
Adrienne begins this narrative at the age of 60, a divorced woman for 17 years and the mother of three grown children. In order to help her daughter, a recent widow at only 29, to cope with the future, Adrienne relates the following event in her life. We move back in time and meet Adrienne who is 45 and has recently been divorced. We also meet Paul, a newly divorced doctor, who has just left his practice in North Carolina and is estranged from his only child who is a doctor working in Ecuador. On his way to try and reconcile with his son, Paul stops off at a bed and breakfast in Rodanthe, North Carolina to meet with a former patient's family. And Adrienne, trying to make some extra money, is at this bed and breakfast helping out the owner. The stage is set and over a weekend when North Carolina is hit by a violent Nor'easter.................... I think you get the message.
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Format: Hardcover
As a fan of Nicholas Sparks who reads all his work, I am amazed at how predictable and unappealing his latest novel is. I can't overlook the fact that the plot is a virtual copy of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, that the ending is evident within the first few pages, or that the characters fail to ignite any sympathy but remain cardboard cut-outs from first page to last.
I give him credit for attempting to write a passionate middle-aged love story, but must he rely on such hackneyed stereotypes as the lonely, desserted wife and the workaholic man who never stopped to smell the roses? And while it is true that people can change at any age, the transformation of Paul Flanner just doesn't ring true.
Sparks has not forgotten how to write a tear-jerker, however, and this one will leave you at least misty or most likely crying a bucketful of tears. But this is Nicholas Sparks, so you didn't really expect "happily ever after," did you?
However, the most insulting thing about this book to me was the premise that two nights of good talk and good sex can change your life forever and make you wiser, happier, and more together than you could possibly imagine no matter what else happens to you. Whatever happened to building a relationship on trust, friendship, respect, and passion?
Readers have gotten much better from Nicholas Sparks in the past and will, hopefully, do so in the future.
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