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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Suzanne, a doctor, and her husband, Matthew, a house painter/poet, lived on Martha's Vineyard with their infant son, Nicholas. Suzanne kept a diary for Nicholas, chronicling their life together from the day she and Matthew met. When the story begins, Matthew has abruptly ended a deep and emotional affair with Katie, the New York editor of his collection of poems. He offers her Suzanne's diary as his only explanation, which she reads, searching for meaning. Well read by Becky Ann Baker, this book is as saccharine as The Bridges of Madison County, which Patterson alludes to in his text. Is he attempting a similar cry-your-eyes-out story, or does he mean this as a parody of the original? It's far from his usual thriller.-Joanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Patterson's latest novel is a departure from the thrillers he is known for, but his fans will be pleased to find fast-paced suspense in this love story. Katie Wilkinson is crazy about Matt Harrison, and she is surprised when, a year into their romance, he breaks it off. He leaves her with a diary to read, written by his first wife, Suzanne, for their son, Nicholas. In it, Suzanne tells her son about the time before she met Matt, when, while working as a doctor at a prestigious Boston hospital, she suffered a heart attack and, as a result, achieved a new perspective on life. She leaves Boston for Martha's Vineyard, where she opens a small practice. Suzanne is much happier in her new life, especially when she meets and falls in love with Matt, a dashing poet who works as a housepainter. Their marriage and the birth of their first child, Nicholas, are heaven-sent, but trouble is brewing ahead. As Katie continues to read the diary, she finds out what happened to Matt, Suzanne, and Nicholas, but the question remains as to whether Katie and Matt will end up together. Though there's not a murder to be found among the pages, Patterson's fans will find the familiar short chapters and surprising twists that they've come to expect from him, while those just looking for a good love story will find it here, too. --Kristine Huntley

  Kirkus Review

For sheer genre-crossing audacity, you might think nothing could outdo John Grisham's season on a Mississippi farm (A Painted House, p. 128) until you read this relentlessly throat-clutching love story from thrillermeister Patterson. The night Matt Harrison's editor Katie Wilkinson presents him with a contract for his new book of poems, she has even bigger news for him: She's pregnant. But she never gets to show him the silver rattle she's tucked into a drawer, because before she can share her news, he's gently but firmly walked out on her, leaving her high and dry with only a book for company. It's a diary Matt's wife Suzanne kept for their baby son Nicholas, and if Katie reads it, Matt urges, she'll understand better why he had to leave. The diary does explain a great number of things-how lowly Matt managed to enthrall a successful Boston physician like Suzanne, why Suzanne thought it would be a good idea to keep a diary for her infant child, why "we is always so much better than I," why "one today is worth two tomorrows," and how a propulsive storyteller like Patterson (Roses Are Red, 2000, etc.) can keep the pot boiling even without the help of Alex Cross and a high body count-but not why Matt left Katie. What's really important, though, is that Katie is on hand for a series of interludes to telegraph exactly when to laugh and when to cry for audiences that missed The Prince of Tides and The Bridges of Madison County. A moving, and fast-moving, fable compounded about equally of tenderness, apothegms, doggerel, endearments, and mush. The ending, which makes nonsense of Matt's departure, suggests how severely Matt may have understated the case in warning that "there will be parts that may be hard for you to read."
Summary
Discover James Patterson's powerfully moving novel of love, loss, hope, and family. <br> <br> 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. <br> 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. <br> 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.
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