Miles Ryan’s life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. Missy had been his first love, and Miles fervently believes she will be his last. As a deputy in the North Carolina town of New Bern, Miles Ryan not only grieves for Missy, but also longs to bring the unknown driver to justice. Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews. The second grade teacher of his son, Jonah, Sarah had left Baltimore after a difficult divorce to start over in the gentler surroundings of New Bern. Perhaps it’s her own emotional wounds that make her sensitive to the hurt she first sees in Jonah’s eyes, and then his father’s.

Tentatively, Sarah and Miles reach out to each other. Soon they are both laughing for the first time in years . . . and falling in love. Neither will be able to guess how closely linked they are to a shocking secret—one that will force them to question everything they ever believed in . . . and make a heartbreaking choice that will change their lives forever.

In A Bend in the Road, Nicholas Sparks writes with a luminous intensity about life’s bitter turns and incomparable sweetness. His affirming message carries a powerful lesson about the imperfections of being human, the mistakes we all make, and the joy that comes when we give ourselves to love.



Miles Ryan’s life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. Missy had been his first love, and Miles fervently believes she will be his last. As a deputy in the North Carolina town of New Bern, Miles Ryan not only grieves for Missy, but also longs to bring the unknown driver to justice. Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews. The second grade teacher of his son, Jonah, Sarah had left Baltimore after a difficult divorce to start over in the gentler surroundings of New Bern. Perhaps it’s her own emotional wounds that make her sensitive to the hurt she first sees in Jonah’s eyes, and then his father’s.

Tentatively, Sarah and Miles reach out to each other. Soon they are both laughing for the first time in years . . . and falling in love. Neither will be able to guess how closely linked they are to a shocking secret—one that will force them to question everything they ever believed in . . . and make a heartbreaking choice that will change their lives forever.

In A Bend in the Road, Nicholas Sparks writes with a luminous intensity about life’s bitter turns and incomparable sweetness. His affirming message carries a powerful lesson about the imperfections of being human, the mistakes we all make, and the joy that comes when we give ourselves to love.

“Where does a story truly begin? In life, there are seldom clear-cut beginnings, those moments when we can, in looking back, say that everything started. Yet there are moments when fate intersects with our daily lives, setting in motion a sequence of events whose outcome we could never have foreseen.”
“Where does a story truly begin? In life, there are seldom clear-cut beginnings, those moments when we can, in looking back, say that everything started. Yet there are moments when fate intersects with our daily lives, setting in motion a sequence of events whose outcome we could never have foreseen.”
- Nicholas Sparks, A Bend in the Road

Inspiration

I had hoped to start writing the novel in January of 2000, but a couple of things happened that month. My third son was born, and I found out that the drugs my sister was taking to control her cancer were no longer working and that time was beginning to run out for her.

I spent the first six months of that year flying back and forth across the country to visit with my sister. Though I’m glad I did it, it was just about the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever gone through. Every time I went (every ninth day, I flew out for four days), my sister was a little worse. Yet, she always smiled, she never bemoaned her plight. She was certain she would beat her cancer, right up until the end. Unfortunately, she didn’t, and she passed away in early June.

During those six months, I tried to write a novel, but it wasn’t working. With my new son and my sister’s situation, I couldn’t concentrate long enough to make any writing worthwhile. Though I finished about 200 pages, there wasn’t enough of a story to justify continuing with what I’d written, unless I solved the problems inherent in the story. So I asked my editor to come down to help me with the problem.

Even working together, we couldn’t solve the problem and my editor finally suggested we come up with a new plot. “In the past,” she said, “you’ve always drawn on your family for inspiration. Who are you thinking about now?” “My brother-in-law,” I said. “Here he is, a nice young guy and suddenly he’s a widower who has to raise his kids on his own.” “Let’s work with that,” she said, and the first character became Miles Ryan, a widower, who had to raise a son on his own.
The basic idea for the story flowed from there and by the end of the day, I knew exactly what the story would be.

New Bern, NC

New Bern is a quiet town on the coast of North Carolina. Located in Craven County, New Bern is the second oldest town in North Carolina. It is a town rich in American history, a site of Civil War battle, and the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola. New Bern’s downtown is bustling with restaurants and entertainment, and the town’s southern reaches are home to the quieter Croatan National Forest. With historic homes, beautiful gardens, and quaint shops, New Bern provides the ideal setting for The Notebook, which takes us back in time to a quiet and romantic period in the city’s history, as well as The Wedding, A Bend in the Road and Safe Haven.

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Nicholas Sparks