Monday, May 10, 2010
Book #23 - Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Although I haven't blogged about a Nicholas Sparks book yet, he is one of my favorite authors. I love his books (although they often have a sad ending) and every time I finish one, I want to move to North Carolina. I also have seen enough Sparks movie adaptations to know that the books are always much better and they need to be read prior to viewing. So I knew before I watched Dear John I needed to tackle the novel first.
This isn't your typical summer love story. It begins with John, an Army soldier home on leave, and Savannah, a college student on a mission trip, and the beginning of their brief courtship. They only have a short time to get to know each other before John heads back to where he is stationed in Europe. But during that time, they fall hard for each other and their relationship blossoms. They sustain their connection by writing letters and looking forward to John's next two-week leave and ultimately when he will be finished with his enlistment. But then, September 11th happens, and John feels compelled to re-enlist for his country, and their relationship changes.
As we follow their relationship over the years and how it evolves, it makes the reader realize that sometimes love just isn't enough. Life and things much bigger than ourselves get in the way - love of country, love of family and unforeseen elements like illness - which can throw us off our intended path. John and Savannah must navigate through all of these road blocks throughout the novel, and it's heartbreaking to experience.
In all of his novels, Sparks is able to create characters that you root for and that you can relate to. He makes it easy to love reading his books and Dear John is no exception.