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Two by Two Paperback – August 1, 2017
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About the Author
With over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved storytellers. His novels include fourteen #1 New York Times bestsellers, and all of his books, including Three Weeks with My Brother, the memoir he wrote with his brother, Micah, have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than fifty languages. Eleven of Nicholas Sparks's novels--The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle--have been adapted into major motion pictures.
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* Minor Spoilers *
Russ Green and Vivian meet and fall in love. By the end of the first page I was sure I knew where the book was going. I was sure she would die in childbirth and Russ would have to raise their daughter alone. I could not have been more wrong, but I almost wish Mr. Sparks would go back to his old cliché.
Instead the book comes off more like a Taylor Swift break-up song she writes for the sole purpose of revenge. At first Russ and Vivian are a happy newlywed couple. Very quickly their daughter London comes along and they settle into a typical middle class life with her staying home and him going off to his fancy PR job. But when he feels insecure at work he quits his job and starts his own company without getting a single client ready first. He then becomes bitter and feels insecure. Vivian gets a job with Walter Spannerman (read that as Donald Trump) and Russ is resentful. The next 7 chapters are from his point of view as he complains because he has to spend time with his daughter, taking her to her activities and doing household chores like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and laundry. As if that is not enough he grumbles because he is not getting enough attention in the bedroom. When the couple does spend time together they bicker and snipe at each other constantly. While reading it I start feeling agitated and cranky too.
If all that is not enough the book is poorly edited. Words are missing and sentences repeat themselves. You can figure out what he was trying to say, but it feels like Mr Sparks is either just not interested in writing anymore, this book was rushed to release, or it was written as a way to get back at his wife after their divorce. I mean no disrespect to either of them, because it is horrible when any marriage ends, but this book is definitely in my top 5 worst books I have ever read
Update: Our power went out shortly after I wrote this review and the only light available was from my Kindle. I ended up reading the whole book. There is a further update in the comments section
This novel is just the opposite. There is too much unnecessary fluff, and. I believe it could have more appropriately been named “The Wimp and The Shrew. It only took about eight chapters to figure out where Mr. Sparks was going with this story. It’s written in first person narrated by the husband of this couple. By the eighth chapter I was weary of the husband’s whining, and the shrew’s cunning and conniving.
I jumped ahead five or six chapters. When I came back in, I discovered I hadn’t really missed that much; the whiner was still whining, the shrew was still conniving, and my earlier suspicions of where the story was headed were confirmed. I read two or three more chapters of the same type of whining from the husband, and the conniving from the shrew, and then I jumped ahead a few more chapters. When I came back in I still was not lost or felt like I had missed much. After a couple more chapters, I jumped to the last chapter and the epilogue to see how it all ended. It turned out pretty much the same as I had it figured early on. I could have saved myself a lot of time and frustration if I had read the first three chapters and then the last three chapters and epilogue. But if you like reading long drawn out stories, then I recommend this novel. You should find it very satisfactory.