The Best of Me is one of the most popular novels by Nicholas Sparks, published in 2011. The story of the book revolves around two people: Amanda and Dawson. Both, in their youth, were living the great love of their lives, but due to life circumstances, they moved away, and after 20 years, they had the opportunity to meet again and face the feelings and emotions they had for each other. In this article, we will explore the book ending and the movie’s alternate final, which has two versions. Let’s see everything together.
You can watch the official trailer for The Best of Me here on YouTube.
The Best of Me: the book ending
The Best Of Me book ending presents an unexpected twist: after spending a few days together and reviving their old love, Amanda and Dawson will break up again. While Amanda is coming home, she receives a call: her son has been in a car accident. He was driving because his father was drunk. Once he arrived at the hospital, it seems that only an operation could save the son and the surgery seems to be successful. But after a few hours, it worsens again, and the doctor tells Amanda that the son needs a new heart. That same night, the doctors tell him they found a donor. The day after, Amanda receives a call from Tuck’s lawyer informing her of the death of Dawson, killed by Ted Cole, while he is trying to get Alan (the doctor’s son, a character that doesn’t exist in the movie) to safety.
The heart donor is Dawson. The total and exclusive gift of his heart to Amanda is literally fulfilled. That’s “the best of him” that gives the title to the book: the heart he had always fully dedicated to her.
The Best of Me: the original movie ending
The movie The Best of Me was released in 2014 and is based on the book of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film follows the story of Amanda and Dawson, and although the transposition presents some important differences, the ending remains relatively faithful to the book.
It effectively ends, as it appears in the book, with Dawson’s death and his heart transplant, allowing Amanda’s son to survive. The essential difference is that, in the movie, he is killed by his father, while in the book he is killed by his cousin Ted Cole.
Tears of Joy: the alternate ending
There is also a different version of the movie with an alternate ending: The Best of Me – Tears of Joy. The other ending drastically changes the film’s message and content and successfully introduces a happy ending. Let’s look at the differences and commonalities.
Amanda’s son suffers a car accident that is not life-threatening, and it only requires quite a long time to rehabilitate fully. During this time, more or less a year, Amanda and her husband remain close to their son, but the procedures for her separation are already beginning. Once the son is fully restored, Amanda is seen resuming her working life, and Dawson shows up at the office with a branch of red roses. They will finally start their great love story again, freely and without obstacles.