Thursday, 25 March 2010

Dear John - by Nicholas Sparks

June 2008,
Grand Central Publishing,
352 pages,
personal copy

Fiction, Love/Relationships

Daggers: 1
Paperclips: 1
Tissues: 3
Emina's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Summary from Hachette

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else.

John's life changes forever when on leave from the Army and he jumps off a bridge to save a woman's purse. From that night on, he is entranced by Savannah, a college student who is in the area working for Habitat for Humanity for the summer. When John brings Savannah to meet his father, she sees something in him that John hasn't seen. She is patient with him while John is impatient.

He and his father have never had a very close relationship. His father is intrigued in coin collecting, something the two of them had done all John's life and something his father had done with his grandfather. All their conversations are based upon coins and past memories of them acquiring new coins. John has grown sick of the collecting and how his father never talked about anything else, but when he relays this to him their conversations come to a halt. His father becomes distant and quiet, having nothing else to talk about.

Savannah is, however, quite appreciative of his father's passion for coin collecting. Her dream is to start a horse ranch to help children with developmental and psychological disabilities. She approaches John and tells him how she thinks his father has Asperger's.

John's leave comes to an end and he has to go back to the Army and Savannah has to return to college. They keep their relationship alive through letters. Savannah always writes to him, and every letter begins with "Dear John". When his commitment to the army comes to an end, September 11th occurs and John feels the need to re-enlist and help out in any way that he can. A week of visiting every summer becomes little time to keep John and Savannah's relationship alive through year after year. One day, she sends him a final letter.

Nicholas Sparks keeps up his reputation of being a tear-jerker with this novel. His words twist both pain and pleasure into readers and have them hanging on to every word like a lifeline. Dear John contains many surprises which leaves readers astonished and on edge. This is a book you cannot put down.

Nicholas Sparks can be found on his website.


Lady Glamis said...

Thank you for this review! I have yet to read a Sparks novel.

Do you think it's bad for an author to be so predictable in their endings? Not HOW it will end, but that most of his endings are so sad?

Emina said...

I don't think it's bad because it's worked rather well for Sparks. His novels are doing great on the market and being made into movies. It's his style. Also, it reminds readers that life isn't perfect. There are ugly endings to situations, and it isn't all happily ever after.IMO.

I've yet to watch the movie for Dear John because I'm apprehensive about what I'll think about the ending.

GMR said...

Wow...sounds like a heart-wrencher to is in my TBR pile but may need to wait til I'm "in the mood" so to speak. Thanks for sharing! Happy reading!