by Nicholas Sparks
Book list Maggie Dawes is a successful travel photographer and free spirit who has traveled to scores of countries and every continent. But now, diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given only months to live, she finds herself reexamining her life. Sparks doesn’t sugarcoat cancer and its treatments. Readers will be able to feel the pain, uncertainty, and endless waiting that the disease entails as Maggie tries to find comfort and meaning in her last days. She bravely records Cancer Video, a series of programs, to confront her disease and alert her followers. The shows bring Mark, a kind young man studying theology, to her gallery to apply for a job. As the months pass, Mark and Maggie become close, and she begins to share her life story. The plot flashes back and forth between the weeks building up to Maggie’s last Christmas in New York City and her teenage years when her parents sent her to Aunt Linda’s home in the Outer Banks to hide an unwanted pregnancy. Aunt Linda, a former nun, had helped teens before, and at her home, Maggie finds the kindness and support her parents didn't provide. She also finds Byrce, a local teen on his way to West Point, who becomes Maggie’s tutor and only friend and who introduces her to the magic of the camera. As the two stories finally become one, readers will be drawn into this gentle story of love, regrets, and redemption. Perennially best-selling Sparks has a ready audience, but anyone looking for a sweet story will be enchanted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.