Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as a way to share books that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them. These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere, which is why we all love them! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it!
It’s been weeks since I’ve been able to participate in Throwback Thursday, so I wanted to pick something special, an old favorite that I really love. My pick this week is one I read when it was published 16 years ago, but I still remember how much an impact it made…and what a blubbering mess I was! My pick this week:
Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
Published July 16, 2001 by Little, Brown and Company
A powerfully moving and suspenseful novel about families, loss, new love, and hope. Katie Wilkinson has found her perfect man at last. He’s a writer, a house painter, an original thinker-everything she’s imagined she wanted in a partner. But one day, without explanation, he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read. This diary is a love letter written by a new mother named Suzanne for her baby son, Nicholas. In it she pours out her heart about how she and the boy’s father met, about her hopes for marriage and family, and about the unparalleled joy that having a baby has brought into her life. As Katie reads this touching document, it becomes clear that the lover who has just left her is the husband and father in this young family. She reads on, filled with terror and hope, as she struggles to understand what has happened-and whether her new love has a prayer of surviving. Written with James Patterson’s perfect pitch for emotion and suspense, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas captures beautifully the joys of a new family even as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. This is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope.
This book. Oh, I was torn in pieces by this book in ways that I did not expect to be, especially since I was so used to reading James Patterson’s suspense and detective novels! I never imagined that he could write something so poignant, so beautiful. So breathtaking. So heart-wrenching. As a young mother with a one-year-old son at the time when I read this book, I think I sobbed uncontrollably for quite some time because I was so affected by the book. Even thinking back to the time I read it touches the deepest parts of my heart.
I remember reading this book in the span of several hours, staying up late into the middle of the night as the pages just quickly unfolded with the amazing love of Suzanne for her baby Nicholas, the story of Suzanne’s love for her husband Matt, and the love of the new parents for their baby son. And of course, with the story of the newfound love between Katie and Matt and how profoundly Katie was affected by reading this diary. It’s a novel that is at its very heart layers and layers of a love story, or more accurately, represents a circle of unbroken and unequivocal love between all the characters that is best understood only by reading the book.
Again, as a mother, it was a hard read, but such a loving read to “hear” Suzanne’s voice in the diary and know that above all else she wanted to be known as a mother and for her son to remember her that way. It touched such a cord with me and if nothing else, that is what I want to be remembered for: a mother who proudly and fiercely loves her children since anything else pales in comparison, so I felt Suzanne’s desire to write and keep writing to her son long after the story ended.
But the book is more than about Suzanne’s love for her baby, it was her story to Katie as well, which was so intense, but so loving. There are twists in the book, but it wouldn’t be a Patterson book without them, and I certainly will not spoil them! All I will say is this is one of the most emotionally heavy books that I have read. I cannot say how beautiful and touching Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas is enough. Highly recommended even for non-readers of James Patterson as he certainly shines here!