"Two By Two" by Nicholas Sparks
Just another amazing story by Nicolas Sparks. Seriously, how does he do it? My husband got this book for me for my birthday to read on the plane to visit my aunt in Colorado. He said I might need a distraction from being worried about flying solo. (He also gave me a chocolate bar, winner of a guy I tell ya.) The story is of a man who has it all until one day, to his great surprise, it all crumbles. His job is gone, his wife is leaving him, he has to move, and he has a daughter to care for. Alone, raising his daughter, he is tested and finds the strength and love beyond what he could have imagined. "Marriage, after all, is never quite what one imagines it will be. It requires commitment and compromise, communication and cooperation, especially as life tends to throw curveballs, often when we least expect them. Ideally, the curveball slides past the couple with little damage; at other times, facing those pitches together makes the couple more committed to each other. But sometimes, the curveballs end up smacking us in the chest and close to the heart, leaving bruises that never seem to heal." Marriage is full of surprises, life is really, it's what you choose to do with the surpirses that make or break a marriage. Will you choose your spouse again and again? Will you choose to see the best in them and overlook the irritations? Will you show grace and love and forgiveness? "That's what parenting is all about. Doing the best you can while being terrified of screwing up." My thoughts exactly. "Hope might leave me crushed in the end, but losing all hope somehow seemed even worse." For what do we have if we have no hope? "We're all works in progress. It's the definition of being a parent." It's the definition of being a human, so show yourself and others grace. "But what I didn't understand until recently was that those tender, orchestrated moments mean nothering unless they occur with someone who loves you just the way you are." For that is the greatest gift we can receive, being loved for exactly who we are. This story was different in that the love story was mostly the love for his daughter. I liked that Nicholas put a different spin on love than he normally does.