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.
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?