My trepidation when it comes to male authors is well documented on this blog, particularly when it comes to the genre of romance. I believe I’ve categorically dismissed male authors as romance writers largely because they tend to be more narrative than descriptive in their story-telling.
Well, after reading Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk to Remember, I take that back. For that’s how he told the simple, sweet tale of small town romance … using straight forward narrative. And it worked so well he had me shedding tears.
Told in first person through the voice of Landon Carter recalling through flash black how he met and fell in love with the terminally ill Jamie Sullivan, the local pastor’s only daughter, readers get to witness the beauty, purity and power of first love. The book was inspired by the author’s sister, and truly deserves the rave and praises it has received since fist published in 1998.
The story arc of first love is timeless, but in this seemingly old-fashioned and traditional simple tale, the evocative message of love is mightily conveyed through the tenderness and poignant emotions which imbue the narrative. What was at first glance an unremarkable tale of young love turned out to be a moving bittersweet romance whose appeal will endure for all times. So, if you’re looking for a book by a male author, I strongly recommend this book for the spiritual uplifting it will bring to die-hard romantics.
I can’t say the same, however, for Blinding Light by Paul Theroux. Even though it was rave and hailed as a sensational success for the controversial story arc and its cunning plot full of colourful personalities, imaginative description and intriguing exploration of blindness and sensuality, the book failed to keep my attention. I simply gave up reading it two-thirds into the book. I couldn’t get Slade’s obsession with drug-induced sightlessness in his pursuit of creativity.
To sum up, here are my ratings …
A Walk to Remember: 5.0
Blinding Light: 1.5