Nights In Rodathe? More Like Sob Fest in Dargan

Published July 16, 2012 by jrm17

I started out today with the full intention of writing about the differences between the One for the Money book and movie.  Then I started crying (No need to discuss details for once) and it changed my mind.  Why?  Because last night I finished reading Nights in Rodanthe and that book made me cry as if someone very important to me just broke my heart and left me forever.  I don’t think I have ever cried during a book like that.  Actually, I cry over almost everything but I’m not so sure I’ve ever cried like that before.

Here’s the house now, though it has been moved about three streets into to town to save it from storms (like in the book). ignore my mama and I fixing our hair at the bottom. It was windy.

You see, I would have never picked up this book if two things had not happened in my life.  First off, if Zac Efron had not been in The Lucky One, I would have never touched a Nicholas Sparks books because I had sworn I never would until that boy changed my mind.  I’m glad he did because I really have enjoyed The Lucky One and Nights in Rodanthe, though.  The second thing that happened was during our trip to Nags Head, we decided to venture down the road to Rodanthe to find the house.  It is a gorgeous house and while we were visiting our dear friend Eddie at The Christmas Shop & Gallery in Manteo, I found the book in his sale section and had to buy it.  I held off on reading it until I was finished The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest and One for the Money, which brings us to last night’s sob fest.

The house was gorgeous but the book really has nothing to do with the colossal piece of architecture except for it being the setting for the Inn in the book.  Plot summary goes like this.  Adrienne is telling a story to her daughter Amanda because Amanda lost her husband and thinks her mother doesn’t understand because a divorce is different than a death.  Adrienne’s story takes places a few months or so after her divorce when she is taking care of the Inn in Rodanthe (or something along those lines) for her friends for a week.  The guest is Paul Flanner, who is a recently divorced doctor on a trip to talk to the spouse of a woman he just lost on the table.  There is a big storm heading for the sandbar and love blossoms between the two.

However, Paul ends up having to leave because he had plans to go to Ecuador to work with his son who is a doctor there in an effort to repair their relationship.  Adrienne and Paul keep in touch through letters and have plans to be together after his year in Ecuador is up.  However, something happens and they don’t end up together (Sorry if I’m giving it away but at least I didn’t tell you how and why they can’t be together).

I pretty much devoured this book.  I couldn’t but it down because it was just so eloquently and well written.  The story was enthralling and I love that the story is being told from Adrienne later on in her life.  I read on Nicholas Sparks’ website that it was because he needed a way to keep them from being together.  What I really like about that is that you get the retrospect from Adrienne that we would not have had if it were told in present times or if they had ended up together.  I’m usually not a big fan of tragedy unless it’s Shakespearean but this is giving old Bill a run for his money (Wasn’t quite as dirty and funny as good old Shakespeare to beat him out).  But that different point of view is something…well, different and creative and I like that it was a new way to tell a story.

However, the plot itself was not what made me cry like a little baby.  I knew what was coming because my mama told me (After she forgot to mention Goose dying and the tears that came after that, she lets me know now so I can prepare for such weeping).  I was ready for it.  I was going to cry some (I mean I always cry.  Even The Lucky One brought it on) but it wasn’t going to be bad.  Oh, how wrong I was.  What made everything so bad was the platform of how it was written and just how powerfully well Nicholas Sparks wrote.  You see, the bad news comes in form of letter.  Actually, all the letters made me cry.  Paul leaves one in the room before he checks out that is so beautiful that things got a little teary-eyed.  But then his letters from Ecuador made them start falling.  The final letter that explains why they can’t be together was the most depressing and wonderful thing I have ever read and I never want to read it again.

Okay, granted, I am at a very emotional time of the month but the thing that really made everything really powerful is that I kept putting myself in Adrienne’s situation and I know she did everything the exact way I would have.  Paul asks Adrienne to tell him to stay; she does the self-sacrificing (and totally right) thing of making him go to his son and make their relationship better.  Yep, me and self-sacrifice are peas in a pod.  She isn’t sure of his love until his letters.  Absolutely.  Heck, it’s been more than a year later and while I never question Michael loving me, I question a lot of things that I know I shouldn’t.  Her feelings about herself after Jack divorces her for another (younger) woman.  My reaction might have been a little more dramatic and stuff but they would be around the same lines of losing all feelings that you are pretty and worthwhile.

The most beautiful thing about Nights in Rodanthe is not the love story between Adrienne and Paul (though it’s a tragedy more worthy of recognition than Romeo and Juliet. That was just two families fighting over money and social standing while their two teenagers lust after each other, get married, kill a bunch of people, and then off themselves).  It wasn’t even the letters that described their love for each other so wonderfully.  The best part is how the two of them change each other and save each other from all the terrible-ness they’d allowed into their lives.

Michael said we can watch the movie today so I’m prepared to be bawling again.  Is it bad to hope that it keeps the integrity of everything but isn’t enough to invoke that kind of tears?  I like literature better as a media than film anyway (Though who am I kidding, my two favorite arts are not viewed so lovingly by most).

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