After WWII Noah Calhoun returns to rural North Carolina to restore an old plantation house. Noah recalls Allie Nelson, the girl he met and fell in love with years before and still dreams of.

When she suddenly appears, Noah is elated. Though Allie is engaged to be married, she has never stopped loving Noah. Yet the old prejudices that drove them apart years ago can still keep them from finding happiness now.

Allie finds a strength to grasp at love and try to rekindle the past before she must make a decision.

Back in the present, an elderly man in a nursing home reads from a worn notebook as he sits next to a woman's bed. Stricken with Alzheimer's she listens, but does not always know who he is. He reads, waiting for a miracle; the times she remembers not only who he is, but how much she loves him.

We, too, wait for her to remember, as we wait for a lover's touch or a child's smile. THE NOTEBOOK is a testimony to the enduring, comforting, generous quality of love. Nicholas Sparks captures all this in a few pages proving that great things come in small packages. (Dec., 214 pp., $16.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin