New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks‘ novels are the epitome of heart filling, dream worthy, soul searching love stories. There is a reason why he has a reputation of being King of Romance. Now he releases his newest novel, Two by Two.
Although Two by Two is not an out of this world story, it is a poignant, emotionally powerful one of unconditional love, its challenges, its risks, and most of all, its rewards. Through the characters and their individual stories, Sparks explored the strength and frailty of human relationship, and the ties that bind two people together.
At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that.
But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear…and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality.
Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding—one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.
When I first bought this book, I was actually a bit worried of how it was going to turn out. This is only the second novel from Sparks post-divorce, and I still wasn’t used to these “New Sparks” stories — the ones with an entirely different feel than his greats. I do think he deserves credit for branching out and trying something new, but I was skeptical about his new angle on relationships and couples falling apart, rather than falling in love. I loved Sparks stories so much because of their hopefulness and the epicness in the love between these characters, so I want sure how to embrace it.
Not only did Sparks completely prove me wrong, I now have a newly found respect for him and his writing. I’m guessing a good portion of this story reflected recent events in his life, and turning that into a love — albeit, different kind of love – story that still remains hopeful and strong demands respect.
Whilst reading Two by Two, I was trying to work out what message Sparks was trying to get across to his readers. I was getting the sense that something was building, and although I kept taking numerous meanings from it (like remembering to trust yourself, that it’s okay to make mistakes, that sometimes people deserve second chances…) I couldn’t work out what the bigger picture was. Then it hit me like a bucket of cold water when I read the final page of the book.
We are not meant to go through life alone.
In hindsight, I can see this message rippled through the whole book and understand the importance in the book’s title.
“Two by two… they came in pairs, from all over the world.”
— Nicholas Sparks, Two by Two
There were loads of moments where we were reminded about the strength in having someone to lean on and having someone lean on you. Not just in a romantic way – but in a platonic way, too. With friendship, with family, with love.
As usual, Sparks says it best himself:
“I’d survived the year because I’d been able to march two by two with those I loved the most… This is my secret. Or rather, it is our secret, and I think to myself that I’ve been lucky, for no one should ever be forced to march through life alone.”
— Nicholas Sparks, Two by Two
Four different women played important roles in shaping Russell. Vivian, Emily, Marge and London. Vivian gave him a daughter, Marge stood by him to weather the storms during his most difficult days, Emily’s appearance almost seemed preordained and London, she was his everything. But to each of them he was a different person. He was a husband to Vivian, a brother to Marge, a suitor to Emily and a father to London.
This meant that at any given time, he was not the whole Russell; he was but a partial version of himself and each version was slightly different than the others. But each of those versions of him always had someone by his side.
Two by Two is a deeply moving story that tells of the happiness, struggles, heartbreaks, and triumph of the narrator from the year after his marriage up to a certain point in his life when it all unraveled. It is a story of love, hurt, family, courage and healing. It is a story that will make you laugh and cry with the narrator.
A beautiful story from a beautiful writer, Two by Two restores everyone’s faith in Sparks at the start of this new chapter with his new and different kind of stories.