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At First Sight    by Nicholas Sparks order for
At First Sight
by Nicholas Sparks
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

At First Sight is a sequel to Nicholas Sparks' True Believer, in which science journalist Jeremy Marsh traveled to Boone Creek, North Carolina to discover the science behind a story of mysterious lights in an old, subsiding cemetery. There, he met and fell for town librarian, Lexie Darnell, a young woman with strong personal reasons to believe in the magic.

As the sequel opens, Jeremy is moving to Boone Creek. He's engaged to Lexie, who is pregnant with their child. Her grandmother, Doris, likes him. His family are delighted with her. They're planning a wedding and the purchase of a home together. Sounds like a recipe for happiness, doesn't it? But someone is trying to toss a spanner in the works. Jeremy receives anonymous emails, questioning Lexie's loyalty. For some reason he's unable to write his articles in Boone Creek. And pregnancy hormones are sending Lexie's emotions on a roller coaster of their own. They suffer through a few 'southern soap operas', building to a crisis at Jeremy's bachelor party back in New York. When it's over, they feel even stronger as a couple, which is just as well, since fate has worse in store for them.

As always, Nicholas Sparks manipulates themes of love and loss into a deeply romantic novel about real people. Lexie and Jeremy are strong-willed, spirited, and they have the normal quota of flaws. The author makes us like them and wish them well, then puts them in crisis. Though At First Sight was not my favorites of Sparks' many novels, I found it absorbing and used up a fair number of tissues getting through it.

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