Monday, October 11, 2010

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

The Guardian, by Nicholas Sparks, is the story of widowed Julie Barenson who receives a puppy that her husband arranged for her to receive before his premature death. The dog, Singer, a Great Dane, is one of the only sources of comfort to her for four years after her husband's death; according to Sparks, "Singer had made it possible for her to go on" (1). Four years after her husband Jim's death, Julie decides it's time to start dating again, but she doesn't know with whom. There's her husband's best friend and best man at their wedding, Mike Harris, who is now a local mechanic. Or there is Richard Franklin, a mysterious rich man, who's new to the small North Carolina town. Julie decides to date Richard but Singer hates him. "Richard fell to his knees, one arm extended as Singer shook his head from side to side, snarling" (Sparks 184). After Singer bites Richard, and after he leaves notes on her doorstep late at night, Julie realizes it might be a sign and since there is no spark between them, she stops seeing him and begins to see Mike. While Julie is dating Mike she continues to get notes from Richard and suspiciously runs into him at the grocery store and while taking Singer on walks. Julie no has to deal with a stalker, who will do anything to be with her, even murder, as she tries to move on with Mike. Julie then gets Jennifer Romanello, a street smart cop, involved. The Guardian is a suspenseful love story, police drama, and thriller.

Discussion Questions:
1. Richard Franklin goes on a few dates with Julie before she decides they are simply not "clicking." Is this realistic? How would you feel is you were receiving unexpected gifts and notes at your house after the first and second dates?
2. The first chapter after the prologue is four years after Jim, Julie's husband, has died. She says that she has moved on. Is four years long enough to grieve, or is it too long?
3. If you received an unexpected puppy on your doorstep on Christmas Eve, along with a note from your deceased husband, would it help you heal, or hurt you?


Bojana D 11.12 said...

I am responding to dicussion question 1. I do think this is realistic because people think, "Oh, well maybe I'm being too picky" or "I'll just stick it out" until they realize things just aren't right. I honestly would feel a little creeped out if I were receiving girfts after the first date. I would think, wow, already? Does this guy even know me?

Kelsey M. 13-14 said...

I agree with you. I think you can tell when it won't work out. And yes I think that is one of the reasons she doesn't feel right with him because of the creepy gift giving.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

Im answering to question 3. I think the puppy would help heal you because it could help comfort you through your tough times, and its like a part of him that is now with you.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

2)I think the time one takes to grieve all depends on themselves. Some people may get over it in a couple weeks but others it mat take years and years to get over their loss.
3) I agree with Kali that the puppy would heal you, but I think not until the long run. At first it would hurt me, because I would be wishing that he was there with me being able to share the joy of the puppy. Howver, once I got past that stage, I would see the puppy as a symbol of my deceased husband and feel comfort everyone I would see it.

Amanda Z. 11-12 said...

In response to the first question, I definitely think that is realistic. You would be able to tell if a guy was (at least superficially) right for you within the first few dates. I would be completely freaked out of a guy started leaving notes and gifts after only a few dates. That'd be weird!

Kelsey M. 13-14 said...

It seems like for 2 everyone thinks that everyone takes a different amount of time to grieve and heal, which I agree with.
So for 3 I think most people agree that in the long run the puppy would help you because it is something that loves you like your husband did and it will be there for you no matter what. But what happens when the dog passes away? Wouldn't that kind of be like losing your husband all over again?

Allie H 11-12 said...

Regarding discussion question # 2, I think that four years is enough time to grieve, but everyone grieves at his or her own pace. It is comparable to falling on love. Some people take months, even years to completely fall in love with their significant other. Then there are people who fall in love in a matter of weeks. Grieving periods are very similar. Also, certain events can slow or speed up the grieving period. Like Julie, when she recieves the Great Dane from her deceased husband. She said the dog made it possible to go on without her husband. If she had never received that dog, she may have grieved for many more years.