Three Weeks with my Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks | book review
I have never read any Nicholas Spark novel. It’s not that I don’t like him, it’s just that I never had the chance to do so. I always associate his writing with the hugely successful drama movies that were adapted from them – Message In A Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, among many others.
If you care to notice, most of these films did not end on a giddy note. One of the main protagonists would succumb to a terminal disease or be stricken with some kind of misfortune. However, these are the kind of storylines that some people that I know are secretly drawn to, even if it means they have already cried a river by the end of the movie. Maybe that’s why I shied away from reading any of Sparks’ writings. But that changed when I chanced upon his memoir, Three Weeks with My Brother, in a local bookstore many months ago. Back then, I was interested with the book’s premise: two brothers embarking on a three-week journey around the globe.
“This is non-fiction or some form of travel writing,” I convinced myself. I also remember that since my laptop was not yet fixed that time, I badly need something to read to occupy my evenings. So I bought this book surprisingly, without entertaining any second thoughts.
Three Weeks chronicles the travel that Nick and his brother Micah took in between January and February of 2003. They visited the Mayan Ruins in Guatemala, the Incan ruins in Peru and the mysterious stone giants of Easter Island. They also stopped at Australia, Cambodia, India, Ethiopia, Malta and finally, Norway. The two were in their late 30s at that time, had families of their own which means that they were indeed very fortunate to take this trip of a lifetime.
In between the travel narratives, Sparks flashbacks to their past – their growing up years, the losses in the family they had to deal with and the many challenges of their respective married lives. They had their ample share of dramas, so to speak. Some of these became the inspiration in some of Nick’s novels. He did not invent all those storylines out of whim. He experienced them first hand.
This book had less ‘travel accounts’ than I expected although, Nick devoted a few pages describing each place they have visited. I especially enjoyed how the two managed to get through their guide’s thorough and often long spiels about the history of this site or the significance of this temple relief or the interesting facts about this particular museum artifact.
But if you are a Nicholas Spark, you would probably appreciate this more, as you understand why he writes the way he does after you read through his memoir.