Sunday, 21 January 2007

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

15 or 10 years or so ago, I wouldn't want to even be caught near a book like this. But I guess with age, I've mellowed.

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas is written by James Patterson, the author more known for his Alex Cross thrillers. Two of his books, Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, have been made into movies, with Morgan Freeman playing Dr. Cross. With this book, it seems Patterson has decided to branch out to romance and relationship-type stories. This is actually my first time reading anything by Patterson.

On the first page we meet Katie, a senior editor in New York, who met the most perfect man she could ever imagine. Matt was her client, a promising poet from Martha's Vineyard. While still falling headily and unbelievably in love with each other, Matt suddenly disappeared and left her a diary.

Katie is crushed. Further adding to her wounds was learning that diary was written by Suzanne, who is Matt's wife, for their son Nicholas. Reluctantly, Katie picks up the book, with mixed feelings.

And as Katie searches for answers, we begin to see glimpses of Patterson the mystery writer. And like all good mystery tales, the final and critical clue is often revealed at the very later parts of the story. By the time the final page is reached, all ties that link Katie, Matt, Suzanne and Nicholas are made known to the readers. Patterson has succeeded at what I think he was going for: to write a romance story with a tinge of mystery.

My only complaint would be how incredibly amazing Matt is as a character. He's great husband, father, son, friend, lover, cook, carpenter, handyman, who's sensitive, thoughtful and writes beautiful poetry. Either Matt is an actual specimen of the perfect, dream guy or Suzanne is an angel of a wife who fails to see any of Matt's flaws.

Perfect man aside, this book for me is a gentle introduction to Patterson's works (who by the way writes in very, very short chapters) and the world of romance (which I don't plan to revisit any time soon). A story lacking slightly in realism, but beautiful in its simplicity.

(And a wonderful year ahead to all Muslim readers.)


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