CAROLINA MONTHLY|Written by Andrea Sturdivant|June 26, 2017
North Carolina is the go-to destination for some authors when it comes to romance for writing their next novels. Many novels have been featured in several of North Carolina’s cities putting North Carolina on the spotlight and on the map. When it comes to romance, Nicholas Sparks has made a name for North Carolina.
Although Sparks is not a native North Carolinian, he has a geographical obsession with the state that has become a hallmark of his writing. In all, Sparks has authored seventeen novels and all his novels are set in various locations around North Carolina. Take a look of the best North Carolina novels to read this summer.
The Longest Ride
The novel, The Longest Ride centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a cowboy and Sophia Danko, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideas test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make a strong connection with elderly widower Ira Levinson whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife Ruth Levinson deeply inspire the young couple.
The novel is told through the perspectives of Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond trouble, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart. The Longest Ride explores the challenges and great rewards of enduring true love.
The novel, Safe Haven is a story about a young woman named Erin on the run from her abusive husband. When she arrives in Southport, North Carolina she adopts the name Katie and begins to make a new life for herself. Her job as a waitress doesn’t pay much, but the people are kind and she has a nice place to live. Katie hopes that by keeping to herself she will avoid discovery and entanglements that would necessitate revealing who she is. However the heart has a mind of its own.
Katie becomes close to a widower named Alex and his two young children, falling in love with him and the children. Katie knows her husband Kevin, is a police officer in Massachusetts will not let her go and that his controlling behavior, possessiveness and violence could endanger not just Katie but Alex and his children. Nicholas Sparks takes us into the world of Safe Haven as Katie tries to escape and put her past behind her of starting a new life. She falls in love with a widower named Alex and his two children embarking on a journey of a new life of love, safety and haven.
The Last Song
The novel, The Last Song is a story that revolves around the summer of Ronnie Miller’s seventeenth year, during which she is sent to stay with her estranged father. Through their shared love of music the duo reconnect. A budding romance strikes between Ronnie and the privileged local boy Will.