Every Breath by Nicholas Spark, Grand Central, 2011, 224 pages

Hope and Tru, a 42-year-old safari guide from Zimbabwe, meet while on a beach vacation in North Carolina. Hope, who is there for a friend’s wedding, and Tru’s meeting his estranged American father for the first time, immediately take a liking to each other. She plans to spend a week at the beach making some decisions about her future. Her father has been diagnosed with ALS 

They walk the beaches and eat in quaint little restaurants. After falling in love over the course of one weekend, the two are forced to confront reality. Tru learns devastating secrets about his family’s past. Hope’s on-and-off boyfriend of six years, Josh, reaches out to amend their latest breakup. 

When their weekend comes to an end, Hope must choose between the marriage and children with Josh or exploring new possibilities with Tru. What follows is an epic romance featuring plenty of heartbreak. Josh is not marriage materlal, Tru has never known anyone like Hope. As far as he is concerned she is perfect. Their visit to the mailbox, Kindred Spirit seems to put the magic in their relationship. Could this mailbox on the beach have any connection to their future?

He does many drawings of her and seems like a perfect partner, unlike Josh, who has never grown up. Hope decides on the practical solution but never quite gives up on the idea of following Tru to Zimbabwe impossible as it is at this stage. 

In Sparks’s depiction of Hope’s father’s battle with ALS is particularly moving, as is Tru’s well-plotted family drama. The rich setting helps bring life to their story, making this a worthwhile venture for romance readers. How long can a dream survive?

Nicholas Sparks admits that his stories have certain expected norms such as being set in North Carolina and feature a love story, he tries to vary the characters and devices. Every Breath is a classic story of lovers long denied. 


JoAn Martin is a retired teacher with five published novels. Reach her at or

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