What is the plot arc of The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks?

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The conventional narrative arc includes exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Nicholas Sparks's 1996 novel The Notebook has an exposition wherein the narrator introduces himself as an eighty-year-old man who lives in a nursing home. He reads to members of the nursing home, including an old woman prone to fits of crying. This woman suffers from Alzheimer's disease, and the narrator reads to her from a notebook.

The exposition also includes the beginning part of the notebook's contents. In the year 1946, Noah Calhoun returns to his hometown in North Carolina fix up an abandoned house. He is thirty-one and has just returned from World War II. One day, Allie Nelson, who was Noah's teenage love, arrives at his idyllic home. She has tracked him down by means of a newspaper article that featured the home that Noah fixed up.

The rising action is largely a flashback. It shows Noah and Allie spending a romantic summer together fourteen years before, when Allie's family came to town on a business errand of her father. At the end of the summer, Allie moves away with her wealthy family, who does not think twice about Noah, a working-class boy.

The climax occurs when Allie tells Noah that she is engaged to be married to a similarly upper-class lawyer named Lon. Nevertheless, Noah invites Allie to stay for dinner. He learns that the letters that he had written to Allie were never delivered but rather were confiscated by her mother, who wanted to prevent Allie's distraction.

The falling action occurs when Lon, Allie's betrothed, comes to find her in Noah's hometown, forcing Allie to choose between two men. Eventually, she chooses Noah, and it is revealed that Allie is the woman afflicted with Alzheimer's to whom Noah reads in the nursing home.

The resolution finds Noah taking comfort in small glimpses of recognition that the elderly Allie shows to him, her husband of so many years. The nurse, inspired by their mutual love, allows Noah to spend the night with her (though it is against hospital protocol), and the two kiss.

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