Having lived a whole year in the African bush, I was quickly drawn to the story of Tru Walls in Every Breath. His accounts of the African safari are spot on, and the reality of this man jumping from country to country for change in order to grow is not unheard of in this region. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru Walls is one who understands isolation, a simpler lifestyle, and the beauty of following your heart. Although financially wealthy because of poor choices his ancestors made, he finds no comfort in that status, and instead, he creates a path all on his own. With family ties spread on various continents, Tru finds himself headed to North Carolina for the first time.
Our other character, Hope, is a little less exciting in my opinion. Born and raised in North Carolina, she is waiting for her boyfriend of six years to finally propose and start a life alongside her. However, instead of proposing, they are currently on a “break” for the second or third time. With the upcoming wedding of a college friend, Hope heads to Sunset Beach solo.
Like any true Nicholas Sparks story, a love story unfolds, and it unfolds quickly. In fact, it only takes three days before these two main characters are tossing around I love you and embracing in an intimate relationship. I’m not saying that this is 100% unrealistic; I mean, I fell in love with my husband in 19 days. However, I don’t feel like the voice of the two characters really allowed me as a reader to feel infatuated with their relationship. I remember reading Dear John in college and being obsessed. Every Breath, although a good read, was a little underwhelming.
In the end of part one, I struggled to see that after a weekend of I love you and sex, the two went separate ways. We learn in part two that Tru and Hope thought of one another frequently. Personally, it came across as unhealthy, especially since Hope’s obsession is basically an emotional affair that is never shared with her spouse.
Although I love a good Nicholas Sparks book from time-to-time, I will admit that his stories break my heart because love is so much more than he ever allows it to be. Love is so much bigger and better than how he portrays it. I often think of my single friends when I read books like this, and I pray that they know these expectations from men are unrealistic. I pray they also know that if they allow these images to dissipate, their future love story has the potential to be even better.