"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Review: Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Message in a Bottle
Author:  Nicholas Sparks
Copyright:  1998
Publisher: Warner Books
Pages:  336
Edition:  Print Paperback
ISBN 0-446-52356-9
Source:  I was given this book by a friend.

Synopsis:  Divorced and disillusioned about relationships, Theresa Osborne is jogging when she finds a bottle on the beach. Inside is a letter of love and longing to "Catherine," signed simply "Garrett." Challenged by the mystery and pulled by emotions she doesn't fully understand, Theresa begins a search for this man that will change her life. What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous-an encounter that embraces all our hopes for finding someone special, for having a love that is timeless and everlasting.

Review:  This is the second romance novel written by author Nicholas Sparks, Notebook being his first in 2006.  Message in a Bottle was subsequently converted to film starring Kevin Costner (Garrett Blake) and Robyn Wright Penn (Theresa Osborne).

On vacation, after sending her 11 year old son, Kevin, off to vacation with his father, divorcee Theresa Osborne jogged the beach of Cape Cod, enjoying the quiet solitude of the early morning in the dawn of the New England sun.  It was here she found the thing that would change the direction of her life, forever.  Here she found the message in the bottle.

Unable to deal with his grief and the feeling of loss after the death of his wife, Catherine, Garrett Blake decided to put it on paper.  A message......a heartfelt tribute of love and devotion to his deceased wife, he wrapped the note in string and enclosed it in a bottle, sealed with a cork and his love.  Tossed to the ocean, he somehow knew the message would be received.  He felt better for doing it.  In the three years since her death, he wrote two more messages to Catherine, letters that showed his undying love and devotion, his grief and his longing... feelings of being alone and lost.

Touched by the letter she found in the bottle, Theresa shared it with her boss and dear friend Deanna, who decided it had to be shared.  And shared it was, in the newspaper which Theresa wrote a parenting column for. (Here the novel and movie differ.  Supporting cast play different roles, but the feel of the story remains the same.  It is the same touching message of undying love, trials, and emptiness and new love.)

Theresa wanted to meet this man who evoked such emotion in her and hundreds of readers as they read the letter in her column.  Deciding to use some of her vacation time, she flew to North Carolina to meet the writer of the incredible letters.  She flew to meet Garrett......she found so much more.

Nicholas Sparks excels in this genre of romance fiction.  He tells a fluid tale, strong in character development, with complicated story lines in which the protagonist(s) must overcome affliction or tribulation.  His novels are easy to relate to as he uses themes to which the reader can identify.  As in Notebook, the story of husband and wife, their love and the trials of Alzheimer's; Nicholas Sparks presents Message in a Bottle with a story line including love lost and the  yearning of the heart to be loved again.  He captures it well and the reader becomes so involved, tears flowing freely, as we engage in this recital of their lives, enraptured in the tale of love.

I love both the movie and the book.  The movie does the book justice; though it alters the story somewhat in the details, it is still true to the "feel" of Nicholas Sparks' work.  If you love the book, the movie is a must see and vice versa.

Highly recommended.

Rated 4.5/5

This is my third book in the Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge.

Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge


  1. He's a very popular author. My wife has read a number of his books.

    Good luck with your writing.

    Come and visit me sometime.

    Darrell Pitt

  2. Great review. I have yet to read it or see the movie. I guess I should, maybe I'll rent it for the weekend. I have several Sparks novels, and for some reason I am baffled that I never read this one. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day.

  3. i dont like to comment, but your post made my day and so i shall!

  4. Your style is so unique compared to other people
    I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this site.
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