Title: Two By Two
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Genre: Contemporary, romance, adult fiction
Rating: 4 stars
At thirty-two, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the Dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear…
In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Trying to launch his own business while grappling with the demise of his marriage, the only thing he knows for certain is that London must be sheltered from the consequences of these radical changes.
When a chance encounter with an old flame tempts him to take a chance on love again, he will navigate this new opportunity with trepidation and wonder. But with the loyal support of his parents and his wise older sister Marge, and in the hard-won lessons of fatherhood, Russ will finally come to understand the true nature of unconditional love—that it is a treasure to be bestowed, never earned.
This review contains some spoilers. You’ve been warned!!!
A friend of mine recommended and generously lent her copy of Two By Two to me. She wanted me to read this because she knew I have never read a book by Nicholas Sparks, and because she wanted me to cry. According to her, this book will make me cry.
I started reading this book a few months ago. Aside from having a busy schedule that keeps me from reading a book, this one was a slow read for me. I find it boring at first. (My friend told me that when I reached around page 90, I wouldn’t be able to put the book down.)
I DNF this book and picked up another one.
Then I gave it another chance.
Though it still feels like I’m being forced to read this book, aside from it being a bit boring and Vivian being annoying, I continued to read on.
There was a time that I actually enjoyed reading it and the book became a page turner. Maybe I enjoyed it because of cute, little London or maybe because of the amazing big sister of Russ named Marge and her partner, Liz. (Marge’s got to be my favorite character in the book.) Though I started enjoying the book, I was consistent at being annoyed with Vivian. She’s a female dog just like what Marge said.
Why won’t I be annoyed at her? I feel like she isn’t suited to be a mother. She always blames Russ about almost everything but she can’t see her mistakes. She doesn’t support Russ’ decisions, does she even love him!? She can’t make sacrifices like not running her errands. I feel like she shouldn’t have been married if she can’t make sacrifices and compromises. I could say that she is very materialistic. Russ, on the other hand, was a bit annoying to. Mainly because he can’t make a stand. He doesn’t speak about what he really feels and he cannot confront Vivian about their situation.
Another thing that I didn’t like is, from the start, I knew that it’s a failing marriage. But it took too long before it was over.
On a brighter note, what I liked about the book is the beginning of every chapter: there’s some kind of flashback wherein Russ narrates bits and pieces of his childhood or earlier experiences. It is somehow related to the chapter title and to the chapter itself.
As for the feelings elicited by this book, (aside from my annoyance towards Vivian) to be honest, I cried.
I cried when Vivian dropped the bomb. I knew it was coming, but I still cried–silent tears fell. I can feel how painful it is for Russ knowing that all he does is what’s best for the family and everything that could possibly please Vivian.
I also felt something heavy in my chest in a few scenes with London and Russ. I felt teary-eyed in some parts.
One of my favorite scenes from the book is the one that is featured in the cover. Yes, you read that right. Russ and London are the ones in the cover. I love that the cover is very significant!
For the last 30 pages or so, I cried almost at everything. That part of the book was just so heartbreaking in so many ways. It weren’t silent tears though, I was really sobbing and gasping for air. I looked ugly.
I thought that the book would mainly focus on Russ and London (and Vivian too) and I might have given this book a rating of only 3 stars. But there were other parts that I liked including Emily. I liked her so much and her personality too. Of course I also like the part wherein Russ’ family (sister and parents) are included. The last parts of the book focused about them.
I could say that this book is a diverse book. I rarely find fiction novels wherein there’s a great father-daughter bond. The books I typically read have daughters that don’t go along very well with their dads. The book also tackles fail marriage. There’s a sister who has a female partner. I consider this a diverse book.
I also love the fact that it doesn’t only focus on a father’s love for his daughter but all sorts of love within a family and even with their significant others. That’s what I loved about this book.
Like what I’ve said earlier, I would have given this only 3 stars but then it turned out good in the end. Though it took me too long before I finished the book, I loved it but I can’t give it 5 stars because there are parts that I feel like were rushed and there were parts that were too prolonged. I was annoyed at first, I DNF it, I gave it another chance, I started to enjoy it, I cried, and I loved the book.
Have you read the book? What are your thoughts about it?