The Wedding
Nicholas Sparks
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The Wedding
Nicholas Sparks
Warner Vision
304 pages
August 2005
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Wilson and Jane have been married for thirty years, share three children, and enjoy a comfortable life. To outsiders they appear to be the ideal couple, but both know that their marriage is in trouble. Their most significant problem stems from the fact that Wilson, portrayed as a stereotypical successful, driven and ambitious attorney, prioritizes his work and professional life above all else.

Just when it seems that their married life cannot withstand any further complications, Wilson shamelessly forgets their twenty-ninth wedding anniversary. Realizing that this mistake might lead to the ultimate demise of the marriage, he devises a year-long plan to rebuild his marriage and make his wife fall in love with him again.

As luck would have it, as their thirtieth wedding anniversary approaches, their oldest daughter, Anna, unexpectedly announces that she plans to wed her long-time boyfriend on her parentís anniversary. Anna is set on the immediacy of the event as well as her desire for a simple ceremony. Despite this, she begrudgingly acquiesces to her momís wish to orchestrate a lavish affair, since three decades earlier she found herself reluctantly agreeing to Wilsonís desire to bypass the formality of a large celebration in favor of a small courthouse union.

Annaís entire family focuses on planning the wedding celebration as Wilson simultaneously works to ensure the successful implementation of the plan he had been fine-tuning over the past year. As Wilson works on his marriage, his strongest ally is Janeís father, Noah, whose love for his deceased wife epitomizes the type of relationship most people yearn for but rarely achieve. As they desperately try to rekindle the love they once had, the memories of Noah and Allie serve as a constant reminder of the relationship they are working to emulate.

This book is a sequel to Sparksí 1996 bestselling first novel, The Notebook, which traces the loving relationship between Janeís father, Noah, and his ailing wife, Allie. Whether or not you have read this novelís predecessor will have no impact on your enjoyment of this book, since the only developed tie (other than the characters) to it is the fact that Noah is convinced that a swan that lives outside of his retirement home is actually his deceased wife Allie. This component of the novel fits neatly within the context of the novel, is quite heart-warming, and stands on its own.

The Wedding is a simple and warm tale sure to please devoted fans of Nicholas Sparksí sappy love stories and destined to pull some new readers into his web.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Lori West, 2004

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