"She had a hard time pretending the same about her marriage. She wasn't, nor ever had been, under the illusion that marriage was a relationship characterized by endless bits and romance. Throw any two people together, add the inevitable ups and downs, give the mixture a vigorous stir, and a few stormy arguments were inevitable, no matter how much the couple loved each other. Time, too, brought with it other challenges. Comfort and familiarity were wonderful, but they also dulled passion and excitement. Predictability and habit made surprises almost impossible. There were no new stories left to tell, they could often finish each other's sentences, and both she and Frank had reached the point where a single glance was filled with enough meaning to make words largely superfluous."
"Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was forever. She'd believed it once, too, back when she was eighteen. But she knew that love was messy, just like life. It took turns that people couldn't foresee or even understand, leaving a long trail of regret in its wake. And almost always, those regrets led to the kinds of what if questions that could never be answered."
"The past can be escaped only by embracing something better."
"Life was messy. Always had been and always would be and that was just the way it was, so why bother complaining? You either did something about it or you didn't, and then you lived with the choice you made."
"Change isn't always for the best."
"Marriage is a partnership, not a democracy."
"Love, after all, always said more about those who felt it than it did about the one they loved."
"But marriage isn't what people think it is. People want to believe that every marriage is this perfect balance, but it isn't. One person always loves more deeply than the other."
"But trust me when I say that memories are funny things. Sometimes they're real, but other times they change into what we want them to be."
"The truth is, the world isn't easy for any of us. It never has been and it never will be."
"This weekend was wonderful, but it isn't real life. It was more like a honeymoon, and after a while the excitement will wear off. We can tell ourselves it won't happen, we can make all the promises we want, but it's inevitable, and after that you'll never took at me the way you do now. I won't be the woman you dream about, or the girl you used to love. And you won't be my long-lost love, my one true thing anymore, either. You'll be someone my kids despise because you ruined the family, and you'll see me for who I really am. In a few years, I'll simply be a woman pushing fifty with three kids who might or might not hate her, and who might end up hating herself because of all this. And in the end, you'll end up hating her too."
"That't not true."
"But it is. Honeymoons always come to an end."
"Being together isn't about a honeymoon. It's about the real you and me. I want to wake up with you beside me in the mornings, I want to spend my evenings looking at you across the dinner table. I want to share every mundane detail of my day with you and hear every detail of yours. I want to laugh with you and fall asleep with you in my arms. Because you aren't just someone I loved back then. You were my best friend, my best self, and I can't imagine giving that up again. you might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same. I know you're afraid and I'm afraid too. But if we let this go, if we pretend none of this ever happened, then I'm not sure we'll ever get another chance. We're still young. We still have time to make this right."
Labels: Book Review, Nicholas Sparks