If you haven’t read a novel by Nicholas Sparks yet, now is the time to start.
Sparks’s 2020 release, The Return, is a gratifying story of how we become stronger through adversity—and the critical, though often subtle, role that others’ confidence in us plays.
In The Return, protagonist Trevor Benson moves to his late grandfather’s beekeeping farm to recover from life-altering injuries sustained while serving in the military. At the same time, Trevor’s pretty, resilient neighbor makes tough decisions, and an at-risk youth reaches out for help in the only way she can—all while Trevor’s grandfather’s legacy achieves far-reaching effects.
Readers will find themselves drawn in by Trevor’s honest tone. Trevor confides vulnerable thoughts to the reader as he would to a trusted friend:
In the various phases of my life … I became friends with some extraordinary people. In each of these phases, I became particularly close to a small group of individuals, and I simply assumed that I would remain close with them forever. Because we were hanging out then, my thinking went, we’d hang out forever.
But friendships, I’ve learned, aren’t like that. Things change; people change. Friends mature and move and get married and have children; others become doctors and deploy to Afghanistan and have their careers blown up. Over time, if you’re lucky, a few—or maybe just a couple—remain from each of the various phases of your life …
Plenty of light-hearted moments will make readers laugh. (Speaking of fun scenes, and without giving any spoilers, I think you will especially enjoy the joke Trevor plays on a barista in Chapter Four!) Fans of honeybees will revel in the abundant descriptions of beekeeping.
Much of what happens to Trevor in The Return hinges on the confidence he summons from within—but much of Trevor’s life enlarges, in part, because of others’ belief in him.
Reader, who in your life believes in you?
Are there times when that friend believes in you even more than you believe in yourself?
Here with you,