I'm pretty sure The Longest Ride has become my favorite Nicholas Sparks book.
The novel focuses on four main characters: Ira, Ruth, Sophia and Luke. The story is told from three characters points of view.
-- WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW --
Ira and Ruth are a couple who began their relationship in the 1940s. Ruth has a love for art, while Ira only loves Ruth. He wants to do anything to make her happy. Together, they collect artwork from soon to be famous artists and build a spectacular collection.
The story begins with Ira waking up after he crashes his car. Ira wants to die, but Ruth appears to him to make sure he doesn't die. She begins to ask him questions about the past to keep his mind working. He pleads a few times with her to let him be and to let him die so he can join her in heaven, but she insists that it isn't his time to go and he must stay alive.
Sophia and Luke are a couple formed in the modern era. Sophia is a college senior in a sorority. Luke is a country man whose profession is to ride bulls. An unlikely couple, they form a bond and become inseparable. Luke tells Sophia that the year prior to their meeting, he was in an accident. A bull trampled him. He took some time off but returned to the PBR when he found out the ranch wasn't doing too well. He wanted to help his mom out. Little did Sophia know that Luke could die at any moment if he continued riding. As Sophia's senior year wore down, time was running out for the couple. Where would Sophia go? To Denver for an art internship? Back to New Jersey for an internship at the MoMA? What would Luke do?
The story intertwines when Luke and Sophia find Ira and rescue him from the crash. Little did they know that they would be attending Ira's art auction a few months later. Luke ends up with the whole collection unexpectedly. In the end, Sophia and Luke end up together, and Ira rejoins his wife.
A splendid book, well worth the read!