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The Return by Nicholas Sparks, Narrated by Kyf Brewer

Published September 29th 2020 by Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Audio 

3 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐

I enjoyed The Return, a typical Nicholas Sparks romance, but it was not without some niggles. It is the story of two people falling in love, that shouldn’t. There is also a bit of a mystery surrounding Callie, the young girl befriended by Trevor’s grandfather, and also the mystery of why his grandfather died in Georgia when he normally never leaves New Bern, NC. The story is told as a flashback. Trevor has returned to New Bern for a wedding. He then goes back and tells up about the bride, how they met and all that happened at that time.

There were several things I enjoyed about this book and kept me interested. I liked Trevor and wanted things to work out for him. Natalie was an interesting character. She seemed to like Trevor, but blew hot and cold. What was she hiding? I enjoyed that part of the story, but what confused me was how fast Trevor fell for her without even knowing her. I liked that she was the deputy sheriff, so was involved in the mystery of Callie as well as knowing everyone around. I found that a large part of the story moved rather slowly and a couple of times, I had to rewind the story because I had drifted off to think about other things. The way Trevor went about his search for reasons of why his grandfather was on the road held my interest and the mystery surrounding Callie was great., and I really liked how that turned out. Overall, I enjoyed this story and except for the two issues mentioned above, it had a well written plot with wonderful characters. The audiobook was narrated by Kyf Brewer. I had never listened to anything narrated by this performer, but I really enjoyed this one. He has a pleasant reading voice using his expression to add to the story. He made Trevor come alive for me with his tone and tempo. I will not hesitate to listen to other books he has narrated. If you enjoy Nicholas Sparks’ stories of romance, life and overcoming obstacles, then you will probably enjoy this book, but is definitely not one of his best.

The Return

About the Book (From Goodreads): #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with a moving new novel about an injured army doctor and the two women whose secrets will change the course of his life.

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he’d inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

Tending to his grandfather’s beloved bee hives while preparing for a second stint in medical school, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . yet, from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson that he can’t ignore. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road. Claiming to be 17, she works at the local sundries store and keeps to herself. Discovering that she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues – until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could have ever anticipated.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.