Opening Line: "Is it possible, I wonder, for a man to truely change?"
Although not the best book in Nicholas Sparks' collection this is an easy and sweet (sometimes sickly) read without the usual gut-wrenching heartbreak at the end. I found it amazing and a credit to Sparks as a writer that he was able to craft an entire book out of the simple premise of a wedding and a few flashbacks. This is almost like a Seinfeld episode in that it's about nothing but still intriguing to watch unfold. And even though he tries to be sneaky you'll have a pretty good idea early on of how it's going to play out.
Despite the shining example set by his in-laws (Noah and Allie from The Notebook)THE WEDDING tells the story of middle aged workaholic lawyer Wilson Lewis and his year long romantic journey to rebuild his failing marriage. This is basically filler but it is good to hear from Noah and Allie again.
Wilson has spent too little time at home and too much time at the office during his marriage. Neglecting his wife and missing his children grow up. The crux comes when Wilson forgets their 29th wedding anniversary and after witnessing his wife's tears and subsequent departure is forced to face a painful truth. Jane has fallen out of love with him and it's entirely his fault. Unable to express his true feelings in words (although we get to hear all his internal dialogue and more than once I wanted to shout at him; tell your wife how you feel, don't just think it.) Wilson vows to make some serious changes and somehow get his wife fall in love with him again.
Wilson spends the next year planning their 30th wedding anniversary. He also goes on a diet, learns to cook romantic dinners and begins really listening to what his wife has to say. As the day approaches their oldest daughter Anna suddenly announces that she's getting married and as a tribute to her parents wants to do it on their anniversary, overshadowing Wilson's secret plans. Jane however is excited and begins showing new interest in both her routine life and as Wilson helps with the hurried preparations, their long neglected marriage.
Jane and Wilson's story is then told in a series of flashbacks as Wilson remembers what brought them together all those years ago. Throughout the arrangements Wilson visits Noah at Creekside retirement home updating the cantankerous old man on the preparations and getting advice on how to save his marriage. For me Noah was the best part of this book and I loved revisiting this spunky yet heartbroken character. He is absolutely endearing here, spending his days feeding and talking to a lone female swan who in herself becomes a character.
With the memories of Noah and Allie as a guide and their old family home as a setting the wedding plans come together. But has Wilson been able to change himself and their relationship enough to see them through things afterwards? Will he be able to show her how much she has meant to him all these years? And will it be enough?