Reading guide for Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Message In A Bottle

by Nicholas Sparks

Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 1998, 322 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 1999, 370 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

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 represent? Could another setting have worked as well? Does the destruction of the sailboat at the end of the novel say anything important to you?

  3. Garrett Blake is plagued by memories of his deceased wife throughout his courtship of Theresa. In the end, we learn that Catherine was pregnant when she died. How did this affect Garrett's relationship with Kevin?

  4. When Theresa comes down to "meet" Garrett Blake for the first time, was she secretly hoping to fall in love with him, or was it as she implied, simply because she wanted to meet someone "who could love like that?" Was it right or wrong for her not to have told him about the messages she'd found right away? What would you have done in that situation?

  5. When asked by his father, Garrett tries to deny his new feelings for Theresa, but his father doesn't accept his answer. Do you think he did this because he thought Garrett was lying, or because he wanted to believe that Garrett was lying? Is there a difference between the two? Was he speaking as a father or friend, or both?

  6. Theresa regrets hiding the letters and knows she has to tell Garrett about them eventually. But Garrett learns about their existence before she does so and he storms out of the house, thinking that she's lied to him from the beginning. Why does Garrett change his mind about Theresa in the days following their argument? Did that discovery lead to Garrett's death, or would he have sent the final letter anyway? Did Garrett's discovery make him love Theresa more or less? Why?

  7. Were you surprised when Garrett took the boat out, knowing that a storm was coming? What does this say about Garrett Blake? Had he not died, would he and Theresa have gotten married? If so, where would they have lived?

  8. Garrett loved Catherine with all his heart. Had his love been romanticized by her loss? Did he love Theresa with the same intensity? Knowing that Catherine had been pregnant when she died, did Theresa's son Kevin add to their relationship or detract from it?

  9. Was the fact that Theresa Osborne was able to find evidence of three letters plausible? Why or why not? What role does coincidence play in their relationship?


Copyright © 2002 Nicholas Sparks Enterprises, Inc. All Rights reserved.

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Vision. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Pachinko
    Pachinko
    by Min Jin Lee
    Pachinko has one of the best opening lines I've encountered in some time: "History has failed us, ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    I See You
    by Clare Mackintosh

    A dark and compelling thriller about an everyday woman trapped in the confines of her everyday world.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Fifth Petal
    by Brunonia Barry

    Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of The Lace Reader with this spellbinding new thriller.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.