Perfect for a summer, light yet profound read
I'm a big Nicholas Sparks fan, so I may be somewhat biased as I review this book. THE WEDDING is the sequel to THE NOTEBOOK, the love story of Noah and Allie: a love that almost didn't happen. Now, in THE WEDDING, we meet the next two generations of family members, and a somewhat complex story is told.
Noah is now living at Creekside, where he and Allie had moved toward the end of her life. He spends his time feeding a lone female swan, distinguished by a dark patch of color on her chest. Noah feels that this is Allie come back to him, and his children feel that he's lost touch with the world. Noah, however, never gives up on his theory and insists that it is his dear beloved wife.
Noah and Allie's oldest daughter, Jane, is married to Wilson Lewis. They've been married for nearly 30 years and have raised three children, all of whom are now adults. Jane and Wilson's story is told in flashbacks, as Wilson remembers what brought him and Jane together all those years ago. The reason for his reflections, though, is that he knows Jane is very unhappy with their marriage. So unhappy, that she leaves town for a few weeks to spend with their son Joseph. She doesn't say exactly why she left, but Wilson knows she needs to get away to think things over.
In the meantime, their oldest daughter Anna has announced that she and her boyfriend Keith plan to be married in a few weeks. She doesn't want anything fancy, and plans to marry at the justice of the peace. However, this is not what Jane wants for her daughter. Suddenly, Jane shows a new interest in life, and with the help of Wilson the two of them proceed to organize the best wedding any daughter ever had.
As the wedding plans take shape, Wilson keeps Noah up to date. During their visits, Wilson notes how Noah dotes on the swan, talking to her and sharing his thoughts with her. A few odd events almost convince Wilson that maybe this is indeed Allie reborn, but he always keeps these thoughts to himself. And all through these visits, Noah reminisces about his wife, while Wilson remembers his own first love Jane.
The title THE WEDDING is misleading, but this was Sparks' intention. Yes, the entire book is about the family getting ready for the big wedding, but the reader will realize by the end of the book that the story is much more than just THE WEDDING. The ending will surprise you, as it surprised some of the characters in the book. The story of the swan helps round out this tale of eternal love and may turn even the most cynical of persons into a romantic.