Books Set in the South, Feel-Good, Fiction, Romantic Fiction, Sparks-Nicholas

#753 The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

The Longest Ride by Nicholas SparksThe Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

A man named Ira has crashed his car in the snow. He’s not alone though, his wife, Ruth, is there with him, but not really because she’s been dead for nine years. He starts the recount their life together. He loved her. They got married after the war, but mumps had rendered IRA unable to have children. Both IRA and Ruth belonged to immigrant families that had moved to North Carolina. Ira told Ruth about the mumps, but he married her anyway.

The two started to collect artwork. The collection grew and grew. They visited Lake Eden in Black Mountain every year.

As Ira sits in the freezing car, more than one day, two other people will soon be in the same area. These two are young and named Luke and Sophia. They met at a rodeo. Luke was one of the bull riders. He’s got a secret though.

Sophia and Luke don’t seem to match, but they start a relationship that they both like, all while Luke’s mother might lose the ranch. Luke ends up doing something dangerous to himself, to save the ranch, but an unforseen bright spot and chance meeting come into both Like and Sophia’s life that really brightens things up.

What I liked

This was not bad for my first Nicholas Sparks book. It wasn’t quite as sappy or as dramatic as I expected. I liked Ira and Ruth’s story, although it was quite sad.

I liked that a large part of this story was set around where I live. I live really close to Asheville, Hipster City USA, which is mentioned multiple times in this story. Black Mountain is also a place I’ve been, heck, I almost got a job there, at Montreat College, not Black Mountain College, which was a real place. The lake mentioned in the book is also real. It’s part of some summer camp now.

I liked that art was such a large part of this book. I am an artist and stories about other artists are wonderful.

Surprisingly, Nicholas got a lot of the PBR stuff correct. My mom used to watch the heck out of bull riding on the TV; yes, you can watch it on TV. It can be a very dangerous procession. People get killed and paralyzed doing it.

What I didn’t like

The idea of a couple not being able to have children, when they want them, is very sad to me. I don’t understand why It’s and Ruth didn’t adopt a child. It was certainly something they could have done. I feel like life is too short not to be a parent when you want to be a parent.


At least I didn’t burst into tears when I was reading this book.

Weigh in

Would you ride a bull?

Would you stay with someone if you wanted kids and they couldn’t have them?


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