The Choice” is the 11th feature film inspired by a Nicholas Sparks book, and those familiar with the previous ten may find its plot predictable. Set on the North Carolina coastline, the movie draws you into an unrelenting love affair between a Southern belle and a working class man before tragedy threatens to capsize their relationship. Will their love survive? I bet you can guess.

But what might surprise fans is that Sparks, once named “Sexiest Author Alive” by People, is a man of deep faith in God. Born into a devout Roman Catholic family in Omaha, Nebraska in 1965, he has held onto the religion of his childhood for more than half a century. He prays regularly, speaks fondly of the Pope, and compares his relationship with God to something he knows much about: a love affair. As such, it has been tested by its own tragedies and challenges, but in trademark Sparks-style, it has persevered.

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Written by Jonathan