Two by Two
By Nicholas Sparks
Author’s Website: http://nicholassparks.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
Russell Green had it all; a loving wife, a beautiful daughter, and a successful career. But then, like a row of dominos, it all came tumbling down around him. First to go was his job. His boss became unbearable to work with once Russ’s wife Vivian stopped showing him attention after a fit of jealousy on Russ’s part. Russ knew his days were numbered and that it was only a matter of time before he got fired. After looking for a job to no avail, even in other cities, Russ decided it was time to start his own business. But his clients didn’t follow him as he expected and he was losing money quickly. Vivian wasn’t too happy about this new venture in Russ’s life and eventually went and got a job of her own. A job that had her traveling out of town every week and oh yeah working for a skeevy womanizer that made Russ’s life miserable when he was one of Russ’s clients.
Russ soon learned what it was like to be a single dad even though he was still married. He became his daughter, London’s, primary caregiver, taking her to her activities and back while trying to generate some business for himself. But then the rug got pulled out from underneath him when Vivian leaves Russ for another man. She leaves London with him ‘for now’ but the threat of her taking his baby girl always looms just ahead.
During it all, Russ finds comfort with an ex-girlfriend, Emily. She helps see him through the most difficult time of his life and before long he realizes that he’s in love with her (again). But Russ isn’t ready for a relationship yet, the wounds from Vivian all too fresh.
But when Russ’s world is rocked, yet again, who will pick up the pieces and put him back together?
Whenever a Nicholas Sparks book gets offered to me, I can’t help but give it a read, without even looking at the synopsis. What can I say? The boy knows how to write a love story, as can be proven by the number of his novels that have been made into movies! So when I was offered a review copy of Two by Two I quickly snatched it up.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like this one as much as most of his other works I’ve read. I’m all for a book to give us some backstory on the characters, but I really didn’t like how that backstory was presented in this novel. It appeared in little snippets at the beginning of each chapter making the book come off as choppy to me. And, once we saw how terrible Vivian was to Russ, I couldn’t wait for the relationship to finally fall apart …. but it kept going … and going…. and going …. very reminiscent of the Energizer Bunny. Needless to say, I was pretty happy when Vivian finally left him. You could feel Russ’s emotions through the pages and it was heartbreaking, but I was ready to see him mend and be happy again. Except Vivian just kept making his life more miserable and he kept giving into all her selfish demands (all while calling him the selfish one).
I loved seeing what an amazing father Russ was to London. Their date nights were adorable! Their relationship really was one of the highlights of the book.
I don’t want to get into too much more detail as I don’t want to give the entire storyline away. But I’ll suffice it to say this book is a tearjerker. By the end of the novel, tears were flowing and I didn’t even bother to wipe them away because there was no end to them in sight. I love an emotional read so I will give Sparks his due in that regard.
I think the biggest disappointment in this book for me was the epilogue. As hateful as Vivian was in this book it really ticked me off how she ended up getting everything she wanted. And how many people completely changed their lives because of her? I guess some people will always be selfish.
Overall this book was a decent read, but it did have its pitfalls. It wasn’t a perfect book, but not all of them can be.