Author: James Patterson
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Book Summary: Katie Wilkinson has found her perfect man at last. He's a writer, a house painter, an original thinker - everything she's imagined she wanted in a partner. But one day, without explanation, he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read.
This diary is a love letter written by a new mother named Suzanne for her baby son, Nicholas. In it she pours out her heart about how she and the boy's father met, about her hopes for marriage and family, and about the unparalleled joy that having a baby has brought into her life. As Katie reads this touching document, it becomes clear that the lover who has just left her is the husband and father in this young family. She reads on, filled with terror and hope, as she struggles to understand what has happened - and whether her new love has a prayer of surviving.
Personal Review: As you may tell from the summary of the book, for those expecting to read another one of Patterson's thrilling tales of suspense and action, you won't find it in this read. Patterson takes a risky departure from the genre of books that made him one of the bestselling authors of all time, to bring you a heart-wrenching drama much in the style of Nicholas Sparks, most known for his books including The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, The Last Song, Nights in Rodanthe, and other bestselling titles.
I picked this book up for the first time in my early 20's, after a co-worker highly recommended, or should I say, pressured me into reading this novel. I already knew what I was getting into prior to picking up the novel, and although I'm a man, I must say I was instantly captivated by this fast moving novel. So much, I refused to put it down until I was finished, which took all of a short afternoon.
Although this book has received many negative reviews as it has positive, I feel this stems from Patterson's departure in genres, but that being said, this book is simply a love story that was still a page turner nonetheless. Reading this novel, you become somewhat of a voyeur into Suzanne's life, as you read through her diary along with Katie, which is chopped full of emotions once meant to be private forever. Although it was somewhat difficult at first jumping between Patterson's use of first and third person, as remember, you're covering two different points of views, the character development was well done for the length of the novel. It pulls at your heartstrings, forcing you to evoke emotions, as you keep finding yourselves pulled in more and more by the plot.
That being said, although I feel that by the end of the novel, you're to be left feeling empathy towards Suzanne, the subject may leave others feeling a little depressed and cheated. It's all a matter of what you're going into this novel expecting, and what you're willing to take away from it. Plus, if you manage to make it to the end, which I don't see how you wouldn't, just like in The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, you will find a surprise ending and twist you might not see coming, and by golly, I'm not going to be the one to spoil it for you.
If you're looking for a drama-filled tearjerker, don't pass up on the chance to read this novel. Fans of Nicholas Sparks will love this novel. Plus, if you so wish, you might also look to checking out a copy of the made-for-TV movie titled James Patterson's Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, starring Christina Applegate in the lead role. Your Abilene Public Library owns four (4) copies in regular print, two (2) copies in large-type print, and one (1) DVD copy of the film.