I had no intention of reading this book till about Friday, which was 2 days back. I had bought a pack of three Nicholas Sparks back in 2008 from a book sale in the UK. This was after I had read The Notebook, which wasn’t exactly my kind of a book but perhaps there was this rage about Nicholas Sparks back then which had me buy those books. Ever since, they were lying in my bookshelf, unread. Last week I decided to barter them off for some space in my book shelf and put them up for sale. Got an offer for sale for The Guardian on Friday. Just then this urge crept in to read the book before its picked up on Monday for delivery. And so that is all that I have been doing over the weekend – pouring over the pages of the book. I had only half a mind to write a review too, but just the fact that the book had a wonderful Great Dane as one of the central characters, I thought I had to put it to writing. So here I am, jotting down my thoughts on a book which had almost withered on my bookshelf for 8 years and just before it was getting a new home, I finally did justice to its patience and perseverance (or so I would like to believe).
Any ways, to begin with, the very genre of the book, which is romantic thriller or romantic drama isn’t my area of interest, more so since I have stepped on the other side of thirties perhaps. But nonetheless the book was a good piece of reading considering the genre it belong to. The plots are almost always the same, a pretty damsel in distress and a knight in shining armor and in this case a scorned lover turned villain as well. The perfect setting for an adrenaline rushing thriller interspersed by tender moments of romance, fixating the reader to the turn of the pages and taking him along the journey that ends in happy unions. And The Guardian has all of it, albeit in the right proportions. It doesn’t go overboard in its romantic description to have crossed the line into soft porn neither does it delve deeper into the fantasies of the criminal mind to make it a gruesome tale of crime. It keeps the ingredients just as much to make it an easy read for readers of all age groups. The only thing noteworthy is, and it might well be my bias as I have been a lover of dogs since I can remember much, the Great Dane who goes by the name Singer. The relationship between Julie (the damsel in distress here) and her four year old Great Dane left me smiling often.
“Where is Singer?” Mabel asked.
…… “I guess he went to visit Mike” [Julie says]
“We had fight”.
She said it exactly the way she used to after having an argument with Jim, and Mabel smiled. Only Julie didn’t seem to understand how ridiculous it sounded to other people.
“A fight, huh?” Mabel said.
“Yeah – so I guess he’s off pouting now. Like he’s punishing me for having the nerves to yell at him. But he deserved it.”
The language, as expected in this literary type, is simplistic. The emotions of the characters are well defined and with clear demarcations in characterization – the good is always good and the evil is, well always, evil. The setting is of a laid back town in the middle of nowhere to contrast with the sudden change in the pace of the plot. And finally a happy ending, well mostly, with the exception of a few heart breaks. I would refrain from rating this book as it will be too unfair to judge it given I don’t belong in the family of its intended readers. But for those who are inclined towards this genre, I would say, go on.
Buy it here : The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks