Noah is a perfect example of a person with pure, loving heart. I felt how much he loved his wife through the years. Allie was lucky indeed that she made the right choice with whom to marry. She chose someone who could love her until the end.
Noah and Allie are both nature lovers, one thing that makes me connect with how they felt while exploring the river banks on that day they fell in love again. Like them I also love every scenery that I encounter with the nature. It never fails to amaze me.
Allie is a good woman, and she indeed made a difficult choice when she faced a dilemma as she had to decide whether to go back to Lon and forget Noah or be honest with Lon and live with Noah. Surely it’s not easy, for both men were totally different. Lon was rich and smart while Noah was poor and poetic. I just wonder what made her consider Noah despite her surely bright future with Lon.
I guess the end of the story would be a happy ending, although it’s not the typical type of happy ending that everybody knows. Both of them would die in love and faithful with each other. That’s what true love really is, loving each other despite all the odds, not letting memory loss rule over their hearts.
The first chapter starts with a striking question, “Who am I?” On this part of the chapter, I was really wondering who the narrator is and how he is related to the other characters that I’ll soon encounter. Then a clue would be given that the narrator is in his old age which gives me an idea that he is going to narrate a memory from his past. He then provides two choices of how I, as the reader, would see his story. I could be a love story or a tragedy. But he says it’s little bit of both, so I suppose it’s quite a heart-touching one. When the narrator talks about meeting nurses and the appearance of other people where he/she is staying, I got the idea that the place is a home for the aged people. It took me seven paragraphs before I knew the narrator’s gender. He shares about what he sees in the room where he leads and seems to go to often. He opens the door for another character whom, I suppose, is his wife. She doesn’t remember him. There I understood how his story is both a romantic and tragic one.
I feel sorry for what Noah has experienced after a few decades of being together with Allie. They shared true love, yet they were tested by a thief-like disease. It’s hard to look at someone you love knowing that she cannot remember any of the good memories you shared. Despite this ache, he still chose to be with his Allie. He chose to continue their live story though he also suffers from his own weakening body. His lines during their anniversary saying, “I do not move, on this our anniversary, for almost a minute, and long to tell her how I feel, but I stay quiet so I won’t wake her,” clearly shows how Noah endures this difficult situation he is in.
Allie makes me realize how a woman should stand for her choices. When she was younger her parents decided for her life, but for a very important part of it, she managed to stand up and be firm to decide on her own even if it means her future won’t be as bright if she only chooses to be with Lon. She also made a difficult choice when they discovered that she has Alzheimer’s disease. On her letter, Allie says “I love you so deeply, so incredibly much, that I will find a way to come back to you despite my disease, I promise you that.” And she really did. She fought for her memory of Noah as hard as she could. They’ve done miracles together.
The novel mainly talks only about two characters, Noah and Allie, and the others were introduced shortly. I cannot say I could relate much with Allie’s character, because I am not sure if I would make the same choice if I were on her shoes, nor Noah, for I am not as good as him regarding poems. I feel like I’m somehow like someone else in the story. I think I’m most like Allie’s mother, Anne Nelson.
At first, I did not like how Anne Nelson interrupted Allie and Noah’s love story. She kept Allie away from New Bern, where her memories of Noah resides. She also stopped Allie from doing what she loves—painting. I’m sure Anne knows that her daughter is an artist, a talented painter, but she doesn’t see it as a practical way of living for someone like her daughter. She wanted Allie to be someone else, someone she imagined. Somehow, she has become too selfish when she kept all of Noah’s letters for Allie. I guess that was too much. She made herself a barrier between two lovers who only wanted to be with each other.
Although Anne’s actions made her an antagonist of the story, I like how she really did her role as a mother to Allie. I understand that as a mother, she sees Noah as a threat to Allie’s future. She thinks Noah cannot give the future she’s dreaming for Allie. Like her, I am also very careful with the decisions I make for my future. I made a decision to avoid those who would make my life miserable. For my future, I want someone who works and strives hard to become better. But, unlike Anne, I won’t go as far as keeping Noah’s letters. Again, that’s too much. Keeping others from their right to love and choose for themselves when to love is too much. Unlike Anne, I guess I would just be giving advices and reminders to Allie instead of commanding her.
What I love about Anne Nelson is that she knows when she has to admit that she has done something wrong. It was when she gave Noah’s letters to Allie and told her that she will support her whatever decision she’ll make that made me admire her as a mother. I value that attitude and that’s also what I do. Even though it could be hard and embarrassing, I believe that admitting that you’re not perfect and you’ve done some shortcomings makes you a better person.
Chapter 8: Winter for Two
(Allie’s point of view)
I stare outside the window at the courtyard, where friends and families meet. He was reading while he sat next to me. He finished and removed his glasses, then he wiped his eyes. I knew he was looking at me, but I can’t look back.
We spend every day together. We walk, talk, eat, he reads his notebook to me. Sometimes, at night, I hear him sneak into my room when he thinks I’m sleeping. He watches me. He makes me wonder who he really is, for I don’t understand why he gives such effort.
Days passed, I came to know some details of him. I appreciate the story he reads to me, it’s romantic. A beautiful story of love. He held my hand, I felt his calloused and swelling fingers bit I don’t mind. He does not speak, he just looks at me. He always does and it makes me wonder all the more.
“That was a beautiful story.” I tell him.
He smiles. “ Yes it is.” He says.
“Did you write it?”
“Yes.” He answered.
I turn to my nightstand and see my medicine in a little cup.
“I’ve heard it before, haven’t I?” I asked.
“Yes.” Ha says again.
I look at his face and wonder about so many things about him.
“It makes me feel less afraid,” I tell him genuinely
“I know,” he nods.
I turn away and take a sip of the medicine. I ask him again. “Is it a true story? I mean do you know these people?”
“Yes,” he answers briefly as he looks at me.
“Well, which one did she finally marry?”
“The one that was right for her.”
“Which one was that?”
“You’ll know by the end of the day. You’ll know.”
I wanted to know and I believe him. It’s all I can do. I’m not sure about anything but I know I can trust him. There must be something in him.
I tell him I have to ask him about something. Something I’m really curious about and I really want to know. He says he’ll try to answer bit I’m still finding the words to say.
“Take your time,” he says.
“I don’t want to hurt your feelings because you’ve been so nice to me, but.. who are you?”
“My name is Duke.”
I tried to think of the name. I cannot remember his name. “Duke,” I just said as I accepted his answer.
“Yes, I’m here for you.”
His words make me feel safe. He always makes me feel special. Suddenly, I felt the tears on my cheek as they travel down my face. I do not understand anything. I’m confused. I’m confused about everything.
He tells me I’m Hannah, a lover of life, strength to those who shared my friendships, an artist, kind, loyal and so much more. He tells a lot about me. I hear him, but I don’t know how to respond. I just stare at him.