Monday, October 18, 2010

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks


The main character of the book, Veronica "Ronnie" Miller, is a troubled 17 year old girl. After suffering a rough divorice between her parents, Ronnie becomes determined to make her parents life as hard as they have made hers. Ronnie's mother, Kim, sends Ronnie and her little brother Jonah down to North Carolina to spend the summer with their father. Ronnie absolutely despises her father, Steve, and makes this clear throughout the summer.


Upon arrival, Ronnie immerses herself into the local carnival. She stops to watch a volley ball tournemant, and becomes entranced. This is where she literally runs into Will Blakelee, her soon to be boyfriend for the summer. Angry, due to Will's ignorance, Ronnie storms away where she meets a new friend, Blaze, who is a bad influence. However, Blaze's boyfriend Marcus takes an inappropriate interest in Ronnie, which upsets Blaze. In order to get back at Ronnie, Blaze frames Ronnie for theft and their friendship ends.

Ronnie goes home and tells her dad that she is going to be charged with theft and he surprises her by saying that he believes her. Ronnie and her father once shared a bond over classical music through playing the piano. Her father Steve was actually her teacher, and their skill level together was so immense that they prefromed at Carnegie Hall together. However, once her dad left Ronnie now refuses to play the piano, cutting off their personal connection. Her father tries to forge a new connection by showing ronnie a nest of sea turtle eggs behind her house.

Ronnie becomes a guardian of the sea turtle eggs, and goes down to the aquarium to demand that a fence be built around the eggs, this is where the new coming relationship between Will, who volunteers at the aquarium, and Ronnie begins. As the two become closer together, Jonah helps his father throughout the summer to rebuild the stain glass window that was broken during the church fire.

During the summer, Will's older sister is to be married. Ronnie attends the wedding only to discover that Will's parents, the wealthy owners of a auto repair business, don't approve of her. At the wedding Blaze and Marcus and his crew show up and a fight breaks out. At the end, the wedding is ruined and Will is forbidden to see Ronnie ever again.

While broken up the sea turtle eggs hatch, and Ronnie runs to tell her dad. She finds him collapsed on the floor, coughing up blood. It turns out that Ronnies father has terminal cancer and chose to spend the last months of his life, the past summer with the family. When he gets out of the hospital Ronnie's father encourages her to persue her love for music for herself and also to rediscover her love for Will.

Jonah returns home with his mother while Ronnie remains at the beach house with her father taking care of him until his death. At the funeral Ronnie plays a piano piece she has written for her father. When she returns home to New York she decides to attend Julliard, a school for musicians. During that week, Will finds Ronnie and he tells her that he plans to attend Columbia the next semester, a school near Ronnie's, so they can be together.

Questions:

1. If one of your parents had a terminal illness, would you want them to tell you as soon as they found out, or would you want them to wait until a few months before their predicted death? Why?

2. Do you think Ronnie had a right to be upset with her parents for their divorice and act out the way she did? Why or why not?

3. Would you follow your parents dying wishes for your future even if they were not what you wanted for yourself? Why or why not?

5 comments:

Erika B 13-14 said...

In response to question number 1, if one of my parents had a terminal illness, I would want them to tell me as soon as they found out. Both scenarios end with the same sad outcome, so I would rather know of the illness sooner than later so I could better prepare myself. More time would allow for me, or for anyone who has a parent with a terminal illness, to fully recieve the closure needed before my/their parent passes on.

In response to question number 3, I think I would follow my parents dying wishes, but only to some extent. I would do some of the things they wanted of me, but if I was unhappy following one of their dying wishes, I would not continue to pursue it. I know that my parents want what's best for me and for me to be happy, and if I was not enjoying something, I believe they would not expect me to continue doing it, even if it was one of their dying wishes.

Kelsey M. 13-14 said...

1. I think I would want my parent to tell me as soon as they found out so that I could spend what time I had left with them doing things they loved. I also think that I would need the extra time with them to prepare myself for when they were gone. Also I would not want them to have to deal with their illness alone, in seceret.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

In my personal opinion I would want my parents to tell me as well so I would be able to make the most of our time together. I believe that people value their time with other people when a limit is put on the time allotted together.

Cassie M 11-12 said...

3. I might consider following their wishes if I wasn't completely opposed to the idea. If I had to compromise myself to make their ghosts happy, there is no way that I would because my parents would want me to live the life that I want; they want me to make my own path and be happy with it. On the other hand, if it was something like playing the piano I don't think that's too much for them to ask. It erally just depends on what their wishes are and how I would be affected by them.

Jacci L. 11-12 said...

1. If one of my parents had a terminal illness, I would want them to tell me right away. If they were to tell me a few months before they were to die, there would be no way to cope and it would make matters worse because I would get upset which would make my parents upset and put more stress on them. It would create too much tension and it would be way harder to let go in a few months rather if I was told right away. Either way it's a hard thing to cope with, but knowing way sooner so you're able to spend as much possible time as you have together with your parents would help me accept the fact that they're going to die. It's not an easy thing and being told a few months prior is like saying sorry I didn't want to tell you but in a few months you won't have a mother or father. How in the world would I be able to deal, think, and cope in that small amount of time? Not only would it be hard on me, but it could really affect the relationship that I'd have with my parents. I thought we could trust and tell each other everything and then they would hide something like that from me. Yeah, I'd definitely want them to tell me right away.