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A Bend in the Road
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A Bend in the Road
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Miles Ryan's life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. As deputy sheriff of New Bern, North Carolina, he not only grieves for her and worries about their...
Miles Ryan's life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. As deputy sheriff of New Bern, North Carolina, he not only grieves for her and worries about their...
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  • Miles Ryan's life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. As deputy sheriff of New Bern, North Carolina, he not only grieves for her and worries about their young son Jonah but longs to bring the unknown driver to justice. Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews, Jonah's second-grade teacher. A young woman recovering from a difficult divorce, Sarah moved to New Bern hoping to start over. Tentatively, Miles and Sarah reach out to each other . . . soon they are falling in love. But what neither realizes is that they are also bound together by a shocking secret, one that will force them to reexamine everything they believe in--including their love.
 

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  • From the book
    Chapter 1

    On the morning of August 29, 1988, a little more than two years after his wife had passed away, Miles Ryan stood on the back porch of his house, smoking a cigarette, watching as the rising sun slowly changed the morning sky from dusky gray to orange. Spread before him was the Trent River, its brackish waters partially hidden by the cypress trees clustered at the water's edge.

    The smoke from Miles's cigarette swirled upward and he could feel the humidity rising, thickening the air. In time, the birds began their morning songs, the trill whistles filling the air. A small bass boat passed by, the fisherman waved, and Miles acknowledged the gesture with a slight nod. It was all the energy he could summon.

    He needed a cup of coffee. A little java and he'd feel ready enough to face the day -- getting Jonah off to school, keeping rein on the locals who flouted the law, posting eviction notices throughout the county, as well as handling whatever else inevitably cropped up, like meeting with Jonah's teacher later in the afternoon. And that was just for starters. The evenings, if anything, seemed even busier. There was always so much to do, simply to keep the household running smoothly: paying the bills, shopping, cleaning, repairing things around the house. Even in those rare moments when Miles found himself with a little free time on his hands, he felt as if he had to take advantage of it right away or he'd lose the opportunity. Quick, find something to read. Hurry up, there's only a few minutes to relax. Close your eyes, in a little while there won't be any time. It was enough to wear anyone down for a while, but what could he do about it?

    He really needed the coffee. The nicotine wasn't cutting it anymore, and he thought about throwing the cigarettes out, but then it didn't matter whether he did or not. In his mind, he didn't really smoke. Sure, he had a few cigarettes during the course of the day, but that wasn't real smoking. It wasn't as though he burned through a pack a day, and it wasn't as if he'd been doing it his whole life, either; he'd started after Missy had died, and he could stop anytime he wanted. But why bother? Hell, his lungs were in good shape -- just last week, he'd had to run after a shoplifter and had no trouble catching the kid. A smoker couldn't do that.

    Then again, it hadn't been as easy as it was when he'd been twenty-two. But that was ten years ago, and even if thirty-two didn't mean it was time to start looking into nursing homes, he was getting older. And he could feel it, too -- there was a time during college when he and his friends would start their evenings at eleven o'clock and proceed to stay out the rest of the night. In the last few years, except for those times he was working, eleven o'clock was late, and if he had trouble falling asleep, he went to bed anyway. He couldn't imagine any reason strong enough to make him want to stay up. Exhaustion had become a permanent fixture in his life. Even on those nights when Jonah didn't have his nightmares -- he'd been having them on and off since Missy died -- Miles still awoke feeling... tired. Unfocused. Sluggish, as if he were moving around underwater. Most of the time, he attributed this to the hectic life he lived; but sometimes he wondered if there wasn't something more seriously wrong with him. He'd read once that one of the symptoms of clinical depression was "undue lethargy, without reason or cause." Of course, he did have cause...

About the Author-

  • With over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved storytellers. His novels include fourteen #1 New York Times bestsellers, and all of his books, including Three Weeks with My Brother, the memoir he wrote with his brother, Micah, have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than fifty languages. Eleven of Nicholas Sparks's novels—The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle—have been adapted into major motion pictures.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 27, 2001
    Sweet, accessible, uplifting and predictable, the latest love story from Sparks (The Notebook) leaves the reader with just one burning question: Why is this consummate beach book being published in the fall? The nearly thwarted but eventually triumphant romance of deputy sheriff Miles Ryan and second-grade teacher Sarah Andrews goes down as easily as marshmallow fluff and offers about as much real nourishment. Miles's high school sweetheart, Missy, was killed in an unsolved hit and run accident, leaving him to raise their son, Jonah, in New Bern, N.C. Sarah's politically ambitious husband, Michael, dumped her when her ovaries proved inactive, and she fled to New Bern to teach, and love, other people's kids. Miles and Sarah meet at a parent-teacher conference, and the sparks fly. But there's a fly in the ointment as well; an italicized voice threaded among the happy chapters alerts us that Missy's death was caused by someone whose identity, if revealed, could destroy Miles and Sarah's newfound joy. In Sparks's heaven, clouds exist to make silver linings look the brighter. As tough truth shadows their landscape, Miles and Sarah find depths within themselves, and their rekindled light illumines all. New Bern becomes a city of the reborn. Charlie Curtis, Miles's stickler boss, learns to bend; Missy's aimless killer morphs into a healer; and Jonah once again knows a mother's love. The opposite of edgy, with simple sentences and soft-pedaled sex, Sparks's plain vanilla morality will doubtless sell like ice cream on a steamy day. (Sept.)Forecast:Major television and print advertising and an 18-city author tour will broadcast Sparks's latest from the rooftops; expect instant bestsellerdom.

  • Library Journal

    May 15, 2001
    A man loses his wife, lives in a haze, and then finds healing new love until the secrets start popping. nonfiction

    Copyright 2001 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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