The Return by Nicholas Sparks | Book Review

Who doesn’t love a book with a little romance and a whole lot of heart? A very Nicholas Sparks-esque read, The Return gives you all the feels and makes you want to drop everything and move to a small town.

Check out our review of The Return below ⬇️

#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.


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What did I think?

The Return follows Trevor Benson, an orthopaedic surgeon who is severely injured during an explosion whilst working in Afghanistan. Coming to terms with his injuries and suffering from PTSD, Trevor returns to the small town of New Bern where he takes up residence in his late grandfather’s cabin. 

A quiet character who is usually deep in thought, Trevor spends his time working with the beehives his grandfather left behind on the property. While he gives off the vibe that he may not be prepared to fall in love, little does he know that the beehives will help him connect to someone who will change his life in more ways than one. 

Usually at this point in a Sparks novel we’d be introduced to one complicated female character who acts as the love interest, but The Return adds another layer to the story by introducing us to two characters who make an impact on Trevor’s life.

After settling into his grandfather’s cabin, Trevor meets Natalie, the towns sheriff deputy who seems to be harbouring a few secrets. From here, it isn’t long before Trevor meets a teen named Callie. Known for being a bit of a troublemaker, Callie has an air of mystery about her that adds some much needed tension to the plot. As the story unfolds and we get to learn more about Trevor, Natalie and Callie, it quickly becomes clear that each character has suffered a trauma that has profoundly affected their lives. 

With a plot that is equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming, The Return features many of the romantic tropes you’d expect in a Sparks story with the addition of some deeper layers. I really enjoyed following Trevor as he dealt with his PTSD and was completely engaged with the mystery surrounding Callie and how she tied into Trevor’s grandfathers life. To top it all off, the quirky characters of New Bern, getting to learn about caring for beehives and of course the romance shared between Trevor and Natalie all add to the charm of this story. 

If you’re looking for an easy weekend read or the perfect gift for your mum this Christmas, don’t go past The Return.

4 out of 5 stars

Grab your copy here.

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Written by Monique Renee

Usually barefoot and deep in wanderlust mode, Mon loves binging Netflix, cuddling babies and stalking through Instagram looking for boho decor inspo and hotties with man buns. You’ll usually find her on holiday, planning a holiday or thinking about holidays.

Favourite Instagram to follow: @hotdudesreading


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