Nicholas Sparks has always written stories where happiness and tragedy meet, full of little co-insidencies changing people's lives forever. Some might call his books sentimental, which may be true, since they are always about love and often about sadness as well.
"The Lucky One" takes Spark's authorship a bit further. The story is less dreamy and more realistic, even at times pragmatic - in spite of the belief in a lucky charm.
Logan Thibault has served three periods as a marine in Iraq, all three times together with his best friend Victor. In Iraq Logan finds a photograph of a young woman, probably lost by another soldier. Pinned on a board, the picture is, however, never claimed and for some reason, after that Logan always carries the photograph with him.
That's when Logan starts going on a winning streak in poker, and even after some of the toughest combats, Logan always survive, while those around him die. Soon there is talking among the other guys, who start to avoid him. Logan is not superstitious but Victor claims it's the photograph which protects him.
As both guys make it back to the States, Victor tells Logan to find the girl in the picture, convincing him it is his destiny.
And so it is that Logan and his German shepherd Zeus walk from Colorado to the small town of Hampton, South Carolina, where they find not only Beth and her son Ben, but also Beths ex-husband Clayton.
The rest of the story is not given, but is full of love, doubt, surprises and even suspense. It's differenf from Spark's other books inasmuch that it's surprisingly straightforward, with little beating around the bush.
The book is a page-turner. The characterization is strong and to the point with a lot of humour. There is surely the good guy and the bad guy, but somehow that seems as it should be - and could be - and not a fairytale cliché.
Spark's best till now!