I just finished reading “True Believer” by Nicholas Sparks. I love the way Sparks writes. He is very descriptive, especially of emotions, and expresses well how men feel in romantic relationships. He also writes very compelling stories with usually sound plots. My favorite of his is “A Walk to Remember.” I thought it was exceptionally well written and touching. I could feel for Landon Carter as he struggled to not fall in love with Jamie Sullivan, but ends up doing so anyway. I wish I could write like that. My second favorite was, I think, his first novel, “The Notebook.” I loved the romantic way he had of communicating Noah Calhoun’s love for his elderly and senile wife.
I also liked, “True Believer” but felt I had to suspend belief and logic to follow along. I felt the reason for Jeremy Marsh’s journey to the small southern town of Boone Creek is not as well developed as it could be. The mystery of the lights in the cemetery is not as much a mystery as I would have liked. He could have made it much spookier than he did. But most troubling is how quickly Jeremy and his romantic interest, Lexie Darnell fall in love. They only know each other for two days and they’re already in the sack together, expressing true love. This is not realistic. Love is not something you “fall” into whether it be two days, a week, or even a month. Love is something you “grow” into as two people share life’s experiences. A weekend fling in the sack cannot develop the kinds of feeling that will last throughout a lifetime, or especially eternity.
Sparks describes this same kind of “love” in most of his books. I think the only realistic love he wrote about was in his book “A Walk to Remember.” There, Landon Carter, the MC, struggles with his feelings for Jamie Sullivan over a several month period of time, and only realizes he is in love with her at the end, when she is nearing death. This, to me, is much more realistic. I wish Sparks would be more realistic with all his characters as they fall in love. He’s a gifted writer. I don’t feel he needs to stoop to that kind of commercialism to sell his books.
One other thing that bothers me about his books. In nearly every book he wrote, the hero and heroine end up in the sack together as if that’s how they fall in love, or at least that’s the only way they know how to express their love. True love does not require sex to express itself. True love is an emotion, a feeling, a desire to be together forever. Sex is part of that, but should only be done in marriage, even in novels. True love can be expressed by other means than through sex, and I wish more writers would find those other means to express the love between their characters and let us, their readers, have a more realistic view of how love develops.
In this day, when illicit sex seems to permeate our entire existence, it would be nice for writers to clean up their novels so people could read something clean and wholesome for a change. Something I would be proud to have my children read. Like I said, Sparks is a gifted writer. I wish I had half as much talent. He claims to be a Christian. So, why can’t he, we, and other writes, write novels with Christian values? I’m not talking about writing for the “Christian” market. Just write it with clean, moral values in mind.