This is going to be a long review so hold on and there maybe what I consider some spoilers. I highly recommend this book to young readers and romantics of the heart.
The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love how Steve has the patience of Job with Ronnie. She is a very disturbed and angry young lady that needs her father. She needs to stop hanging around the wrong crowd and find peace in her heart.
There are so many morals to this story. Here is just a few of Ronnie's Lessons Learned:
Don't just assume the worst of everything.
Don't cast judgment on others.
There are always two sides to the story.
Don't mess with true love.
Sometimes you've just got to have faith in God.
Ronnie did a lot of growing up in a short time. I feel God did a lot of fast molding on her within those few months. Her broken heart and fear cost her the happiness she would have had first with her father and secondly with her God given talent. Thankfully, God allowed her to get a blessing out of both in a very short time. Meanwhile, she would be filled with regret and pain. Fortunately, she did find true love with the one person she didn't think she would have a chance. It wasn't just a Summertime fling with the first person she met, but a real-life love affair. A kind of love affair that survived so many obstacles and has so much possibility.
Who would have thought that a rebel girl such as Ronnie would allow peace and love enter her heart after she stopped to smell the roses? She was like a loaded gun ready to set off. I feel God put Blaze's jealousy into play on Ronnie, to start his wheels in motion. To get Ronnie to slow down and take off the blinder, in order to see what she was doing and where she would end up if she didn't straight up NOW. If it wasn't for Blaze doing what she did, I don't feel Ronnie would have stopped long enough to realize what was going on. Because of Blaze, Steve, Will and Pastor Harris were able to start tearing down the protective wall, Ronnie had built up so many years ago when she thought her dad was having an affair and didn't love her anymore. In the end, they found a very brave, strong, loving, caring and beautiful young lady. Someone you can depend on and would consider a great friend.
Steve was a patience, loving and understanding father and friend to those who knew him well. He was a great craftsman and composer. He regretted not telling his children the truth of what really happened in the past and what was going to happen in the future. He regretted his past mistakes, but wanted to make up for them in the present. Because of his selflessness, he gained so much more than he ever expected - the love and happiness of his daughter back in his arms. Like most humans, we search for something or someone. Is there really a God? Is he listening? What does Pastor Harris get out of talking to God as he is walking along the beach? Before it was too late, Steve found what he was searching for and he was surprised that he didn't have to search long or hard because it was in front of him all along. He found peace and the presence of God almighty. Because of his daily readings in the bible, talks and prayer time with Pastor Harris, he (in a way) introduced the Love of Christ to Ronnie. She soon found herself praying and reading the bible as well. "God, he suddenly understood, was love in its purest form, and in these last months with his children, he had felt His touch as surely as he had heard the music spilling from Ronnie hands." (ch. 36, pg. 446) Brilliantly written - touched my heart.
Will is a fine young man that knows what he wants. A Southern gentlemen that knows how to treat a lady. He had good sense to examine the kind of man Steve was and how he hoped to be like him one day. Steve set a good example for Will and he took it to heart. Will stayed by Ronnie's side not only during the good days, but the bad. I think it was because of the trials Will had faced in his past that helped him to understand Ronnie's obstacles. As many times as she has tried to push him away, he was always there when she came back to apologize. He was her rock and confidant. His strength and love kept her from falling.
I have to say that the last few chapters were hard to read without keeping the tissues close by. The tears continued to run all the way to the end. I think I went through a half a box. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll stop there.
I haven't read most Nicholas Sparks books because of the long intro, but this was a very good book. I would highly recommend it young readers or just the everyday romantics like myself.
A couple more favorite quotes from this book comes from Steve when he reflects on Pastor Harris talking to God.
". . . someone who searched for God's truths like a child searching for seashells." (ch. 16, pg 196)
Steve thinks about his past and the path he chose.
". . . he now suspected that he'd really been searching for ways to fill the emptiness he sometimes felt inside him." (ch. 16, pg. 197)
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