True Believer and At First Sight (Box Set), by Nicholas Sparks (Read by David Aaron Baker)
When Scientific American columnist Jeremy Marsh decides to investigate the mysterious lights that appear in a cemetery in rural Boone Creek, North Carolina, he has no idea that his life will never again be the same. Raised in New York City and living a sophisticated, fast-paced life of urban pleasure and international travel, Jeremy plans to apply his scientific background to quickly debunk the Boone Creek myth and return to his New York City existence. The charms of not only Boone Creek, but those of its librarian, Lexie Darnell, turn Jeremy's world inside out and force him to reevaluate his life's goals and his plans for his future.
At First Sight
Life in Boone Creek takes a lot of getting used to for Jeremy Marsh. Although they are engaged, Lexie insists that until they are married Jeremy must maintain a separate residence, so he finds himself renting a room from Jed, a scary, reclusive taxidermist who populates Jeremy's room with snarling preserved animals. Suffering from writer's block, Jeremy finally agrees to read and investigate a journal written by Lexie's grandmother Doris. Doris is the local psychic and has successfully predicted the sex of every child born in Boone Creek. Although skeptical, Jeremy finally finds himself able to adjust to the pace in his new hometown and get back to writing. An even bigger challenge for him, though, is the dangerous risk Lexie faces as she awaits the birth of their daughter. An amniotic band threatens to attach itself to the unborn baby, causing severe birth defects or death. In his deepest despair, the support of his family and friends in New York and Boone Creek show Jeremy that love is stronger than time or place.
Although the action in True Believer is followed by the events in At First Sight, it is not necessary to read it first, since each audio book could stand on its own. Spark's characters become family to the listener as the books progress. Lexie and Jeremy maintain their unique identities, with their quirks and strengths, as their bond grows from mere friendship to undying love. The peripheral characters in Boone Creek and in New York hint at rural and urban stereotypes without becoming clichéd. Nicholas Sparks knows how to write romantic fiction that appeals to men and women of all ages. The plot, the descriptive prose, and the unforgettable characters all make us fall in love with life in Boone Creek. Read so convincingly by David Aaron Baker, it's easy to make a virtual journey to the bucolic village that enchanted Jeremy when he first ventured south. These audio books provide good solid listening pleasure for a wide range of listeners. Highly recommended.