The Lucky One

Nicholas Sparks has done it again! This fictional story tells a powerful tale that has been, like several of his other novels, made into a movie.

The main character in "The Lucky One" is United States Marine Logan Thibault. During a tour in Iraq, he not only witnessed traumatic incidents, but also had a very unusual experience. After finding the photograph of a smiling woman in the dirt, he and his fellow soldiers begin to notice that he started having exceptionally good luck. At first, it was evident in simple things. He began to win cards games but, over time, they are amazed when he survives deadly combat situations. Logan knows that it just doesn't make sense to believe that a picture would protect him. He is not only convinced of it, however, but also becomes determined to try to find the smiling individual in the photo.

After his tour of duty, Logan returns to his home state of Colorado. He cannot seem to get his mind off the woman in the photo though. As a result, he begins researching until he thinks that he knows the general area where the photo had been taken and then sets out on foot with his trusted dog, Zeus.

It's a long walk for the soldier and German Shepherd who end up in North Carolina. Logan's efforts to be discrete in the community were not effective, however, but when he finally meets Elizabeth, he is able to keep the truth from her - a situation that ultimately threatens the future relationship that might they might have together.

Logan first of all wins the heart of Elizabeth's mother and son, both of whom are thankful for the help that he provides for the struggling family dog kennel business and for the strength and easy manner that he brings to the family. Elizabeth, on the other hand, is more hesitant, partly because of the controlling presence of her ex-husband who is also a local police officer and partly because of all the daily pressures that she faces as a single parent, teacher and business owner with a sick mother to worry about.

There are several twists and turns in this story that keep the reader guessing about the ultimate outcome but the plot is one that can easily be accepted. The situations encountered are very realistic and the choices made by each of the individuals who encounter them are believable.

The author does an excellent job of developing each of the characters as well as the setting. It is very easy to visualize the scenes because of the details that are provided and to understand the personalities of those who are described.

The 400 pages written by Nicholas Sparks in 2008 easily captured and held my attention - right to the very last page.

I'll be honest - I really preferred the book to the movie. The book seemed to be much more captivating. Perhaps this was because the woman who played Elizabeth did not match the woman who I had already conjured up in my mind. In fact, part of me wishes that I had read the book and not even bothered with the movie.

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