“…and they walked two by two..”
I’m sure today’s author needs little to no introduction because he is one of the most celebrated authors in the world. Two by Two is Nicholas Sparks’ newest novel which tells the story of Russell Green and his family, with Sparks’ signature combination of gripping, emotionally resonant storytelling and love overcoming all odds. As soon as I got the book in the mail I started reading it and thought that I wouldn’t put it down. However, I had to put it down at times to work through the emotions this story brought up within me. Keep reading to find out why!
“At thirty-two, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a loveable six-year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Raleigh. 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 younger daughter London, while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Trying to launch his own business while grappling with the demise of his marriage, the only thing he knows for certain is that London must be sheltered from the consequences of these radical changes.
A chance encounter with an old flame tempts him to take a chance on love again, and with the loyal support of his parents and his wise old sister Marge, and in the hard-won lessons of fatherhood, Russ will finally come to understand the true nature of unconditional love.”
My thoughts on Two by Two.
Firstly I want to say be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. Let’s be honest, by now we can completely expect this for a Nicholas Sparks novel. However, Two by Two really surprised me with the emotions that it brought up in me. Anger, hate and frustration are normal feelings I have felt when reading books in the past (apart from my obvious loathing of Professor Umbridge in the Harry Potter series.)
The majority of the first half of Two by Two is filled with copious amounts of conflict. Honestly, it was almost overwhelming for the “Switzerland” in me to read all the conflict. This is because I personally have never experienced anything like this amount of conflict. I actually dislike conflict, in case you can’t tell. So my initial thoughts were that the book could have progressed faster as we know from the synopsis that all the conflict between Russ and his wife, Vivian, leads to their divorce. These feelings made me have to put the book down from time to time as I had to figure out why I felt frustrated and angry, and why that was a good thing.
Hindsight is a great thing though as now that I am writing this review I’ve had a few days to think about how the conflict in the story has affected me. I feel that the conflict really helps to bring the story to life in a very real way. Throughout Two by Two Sparks’ amazing storytelling evokes feelings within you which cause you to feel what the character is feeling. You feel all the good things like the excitement as Russ gets his first client in his own business, and the warm fuzzies as he and his daughter London grow closer. You also feel his confusion as to why Vivian is always ready to create conflict and his despondency when he realises he is losing his wife’s love.
The way Sparks’ pens emotions is so very relatable. Even for someone like me, whose parents are still married, and who has never felt this sort of conflict, I was able to relate to the story. He is a wordsmith who can put words to something that you cannot touch and somehow makes them tangible to readers across the world. For these very reasons, I encourage you to read this book. Two by Two had a new life lesson for me, that it is necessary to experience conflict to be able to learn how to move through life. I know it will have a lesson for you too!
You can buy “Two by Two” from Mighty Ape and other book realtors.
What is your favourite Nicholas Spark’s book or movie adaptation?