Dear Nicolas Sparks,
Someday I'm going to write a book that will inspire you to speak the truth about love. Maybe because I'm a woman, I have an unfair advantage on you, but I know what women really want. Granted, they like what you went for in your novel(s), it gets them excited and emotional, for a short period of time it gives them the pleasure of a passionate romance they may never have. But I know there are deeper feelings in a woman's soul. Feelings that have not quite been stirred yet. The woman's heart seems conveniently suppressed, quietly subdued in your portrayal of her. Yet, there is something so much deeper to our nature. Someday, a secret is going to be let out. And when I put it in words, women won't have to dream about a romance they might never have, or fantasize about the man of their dreams that will satisfy every longing of her heart. They need to know that's not what men should be expected to do.
Men can be heroic, they can be courageous and brave. They can be supportive, engaged, and in love. But what if they're not? What do you tell the woman that finds herself with a man who no longer shows any of the characteristics she fell in love with? What do you say to the woman who doesn't have a happily ever after--when the ending is a cold smack of reality hitting her in the face? You tell her she is able. She is able to pick herself up. You tell her she has the courage to make her man courageous. She has the support to make her man supportive. She has the power to make her man powerful. She has the ability rise above anything he says or does, and love him, challenge him, and accept him. Because that was her vow. Your portrayal of perfect love is finite. The ugly, tearstained, struggling, self-sacrificing love of everyday human beings...that is the love that will last a lifetime.
Because, Mr. Sparks, women don't need to find themselves, they need to know themselves. The gift inside of them--all of them--not just the special ones.
One day, I will write a love story too, only with all of the brutal details of reality you conveniently left out.