Summary and book reviews of Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Message In A Bottle

By Nicholas Sparks

Message In A Bottle
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  • Hardcover: Apr 1998,
    322 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 1999,
    370 pages.

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Book Summary

Nicholas Sparks is our very best chronicler of the human heart. His stunning first novel, The Notebook, has been given by friend to friend and lover to lover all over the world as a testament to the timeless power of love. But if we thought he could never again move us so deeply, he now shows us he can-in a story that renews our faith in destiny...in the ability of true lovers to find each other no matter where, no matter when... Message In A Bottle

Thrown to the waves, and to fate, the bottle could have ended up anywhere. Instead, it is found just three weeks after it begins its journey. Theresa Osborne, divorced and the mother of a twelve-year-old son, picks it up during a seaside vacation from her job as a Boston newspaper columnist. Inside is a letter that opens with:

My Dearest Catherine, I miss you my darling, as I always do, but today is particularly hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together...

For "Garrett," the man who signs the letter, the message is the only way he knows to express his undying love for a woman he has lost. For Theresa, wary of romance since her husband shattered her trust, the message raises questions that intrigue her. Who are Garrett and Catherine? Where is he now? What is his story?

Challenged by the mystery, and pulled to find Garrett by emotions she does not fully understand, Theresa begins a search that takes her to a sunlit coastal town and an unexpected confrontation. Brought together by chance-or something more powerful-Theresa and Garrett are people whose lives are about to touch for a purpose, in a tale that resonates with our deepest hopes for finding that special someone and everlasting love.

Shimmering with suspense and emotional intensity, Message in a Bottle takes readers on a hunt for the truth about a man and his memories, and about both the heartbreaking fragility and enormous strength of love. For those who cherished The Notebook and readers waiting to discover the magic of Nicholas Sparks's storytelling, here is his new, achingly lovely novel of happenstance, desire, and the choices that matter most...

Chapter One

A cold December wind was blowing, and Theresa Osborne crossed her arms as she stared out over the water. Earlier, when she'd arrived, there had been a few people walking along the shore, but they'd taken note of the clouds and were long since gone. Now she found herself alone on the beach, and she took in her surroundings. The ocean, reflecting the color of the sky, looked like liquid iron, and waves rolled up steadily on the shore. Heavy clouds were descending slowly, and the fog was beginning to thicken, making the horizon invisible. In another place, in another time, she would have felt the majesty of the beauty around her, but as she stood on the beach, she realized that she didn't feel anything at all. In a way, she felt as if she weren't really here, as if the whole thing was nothing but a dream.

She'd driven here this morning, though she scarcely remembered the trip at all. When she'd made the decision to come, she'd planned to stay overnight. She'd made the ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. In the first letter, Garrett Blake mentions a dream he has of his deceased wife Catherine, in which he longs to be with her, but cannot join her. Is such a dream realistic? Have you ever had dreams that seem to carry such symbolic meaning in your own life?

  2. The sailboat that Garrett Blake restores is an important setting for many of the major scenes in the novel. He'd been restoring it with Catherine, it was there she first told him she was pregnant, it was also the scene of Garrett and Theresa's first date and Garrett's death. What does the sailboat ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
Christian Science Monitor

Proves that good things come in small packages....A classic tale of love.

Dallas Morning News

Nicholas Sparks...will not let you go. His novel shines.

USA Today

Sparks generates authentic emotional power....If you are in need of a good cry, The Notebook is absolutely the right book.

People

The novel's unabashed emotion-and an unexpected turn-will put tears in your eyes.

Reader Reviews
Ape-xa

Message In abottle
This is the best book I have ever read......There is a sad ending in this book!!!! luv this book message in a bottle....

bookwormbelle

Another tear-jerker from Nicholas
I hate comparing a book from another book but I can't help it. I must say that Sparks' The Notebook touched me much , much intensely than Message In A Bottle did. Yes, enough emotions were conveyed from the book but it lacked one element that I ...   Read More

Book Lover

Message in a Bottle
I loved this book so much. It helped me have a good cry that I seemed to need.

charmech

Show me, don't tell me
This novel breaks all the rules of good writing. It tells us over and over again how the protagonist is pretty, intelligent and successful. It overflows with cliches and repetition. I found the prose almost unbearable.

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